Tis the season for large companies to buy other companies. AT&T recently tried and failed to purchase T-Mobile, Zynga is buying OMGPop, the makers of the “Draw Something” game, and now Apple has announced Twitter will now be a part of Apple.
Apple told the Associated Press and the New York Times that they are in the process of purchasing Twitter. While neither Apple nor Twitter have said exactly what price Apple will be paying, some sources within the companies have it placed at over 25 million American dollars. More details have yet to be released.
The purchase of Twitter by Apple actually makes a lot of sense. When Apple launched its Ping social network with iTunes 10, Ping originally was going to be tied into Twitter. This, however, fell through when Apple actually released Ping. Furthermore, when Apple released the Mac App Store, Twitter for Mac was highlighted early on as a staff favorite and publicized as such. The same thing happened when the third generation iPad, a.k.a. the “new iPad” was released; Apple publicized the app in its banner ads as an “optimized for the new iPad” and its retina display. And the biggest nods, of course, come from iOS 5 and OS 10.8 “Mountain Lion”, both of which have built-in Twitter integration in Safari, each device’s respective Photo app, and more.
Both users and the Twitter company itself seem to be going along with this. Twitter apps are very popular on iOS, even contentious in debates. Neither Linux nor Windows have the variety of Twitter apps that Mac OS X itself has, both in and out of the Mac App Store. Twitter has also claimed a significant jump in Twitter use and sign up since the release of iOS 5.
If that wasn’t enough, two of Apple’s biggest competitors already have deep hooks into social networking. Google has Google+, which has been growing slowly, but is already deeply integrated into Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Microsoft also is in the social network game; Microsoft has its Windows Live network going for it, but also acquired Skype for around $8.5 billion American. Microsoft also has a nice investment chunk in Facebook, though not enough to own it. Apple could stand to gain a lot from Twitter and gain a bigger piece of the social pie.
Twitter also seems to fit into the Apple aesthetic; Apple likes to keep things sweet and simple for the average user, trying to give the user as minimal worry as possible. Compared to the overwhelming settings and possibilities on Facebook and Google+, Twitter is a much simpler product to set up and use. Plus Twitter has had few privacy incidents and concerns compared to Google+ and Facebook, which also goes along the lines of easy user security setup.
The only issue might be how open the Twitter API is to developers, compared with the general closed business model that Apple is used to. Then again, we have seen major changes in Apple’s transparency since Tim Cook has taken the helm. Tim Cook is already doing more for public relations, especially with regards to Foxconn, and has allowed for more open use of Siri’s and iCloud’s API’s for app developers. Whether or not the deal will actually be able to go through with the U.S. and international trade commissions is something we will have to simply wait to see.
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P.S. Watch out for false stories, especially considering what day it is.