I could be way off base here, but I suspect that Steve Jobs is about to announce the acquisition of Twitter by Apple. I don’t have access to any private info or anything, but here’s why I think this might be true.
Twitter has a lot to offer Apple
- Twitter has been behaving strangely lately, creating their own media hosting service and telling devs that they should think twice before investing time in the creation of new Twitter clients. These represent a major change in tone – only a few short months ago, Twitter was everyone’s favorite public API. Now they seem to be fortifying. Why?
- Apple is rumored to be integrating Twitter deeply into their next offering of iOS, which Steve Jobs will be announcing later today. As in, very deeply. But why would Apple take a neutral third-party and build them into the core of their super-tightly-controlled walled garden? Jobs isn’t the sort who spends a lot of time relying on other people/companies – it would surprise me, honestly, if iOS had twitter built in but Apple had no control over Twitter.
- Finally, there’s simply the matter of the gaping hole in Apple’s offerings. They do hardware well, they do media well, they do software well – but it’s no secret that they suck at social. Social Media is not going away, so if Apple wants to be a relevant player in that field they have two choices. They can create a working, usable and popular social media tool – or they can buy one. This one just makes sense to me – especially when you realize how perfect Twitter + iPhone are for each other.
It’s that last point that honestly makes me believe this to be true. Twitter is not just any social media service – it’s the one that’s been most embraced by the tech-savvy minimalist. It lacks the clutter of facebook, and it lacks the fragmentation of the geo/social space. It’s simple, it’s easy, and (as long as the servers are up) it just works – it’s practical an Apple offering already.
Apple has a lot to offer Twitter
The other side of the coin is, why would Twitter want to get into bed with Apple?
- Expansion – if Twitter goes native on every iOS device and every Mac, and gets promoted by Apple, their install base is going to go through the roof. They’re already THE social media company in elite tech circles – this could be just the move they need to go truly mainstream.
- Resources – if they get built into Apple’s iCloud service, which is presumably going to have some of the most powerful (and most stable) servers currently running then we’ll see a lot less of the fail whale.
What do you think? Am I crazy? I guess we’ll find out in a few hours!