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Apple Rumored To Want To Buy Twitter 325

Posted by kdawson
from the and-a-pony dept.
OSXGlitch writes "A post on TechCrunch this morning extends the rumor that Apple wants to buy Twitter with part of their massive cash reserve (estimated at nearly $29B). The Twitterverse is alive with speculation that the price being discussed is $700 million. This goes against reports that Twitter's founders aren't interested in selling, and that they estimate the value of the company at around $250 million. Two questions: How do we all feel about the possibility of Apple owning Twitter? And, can Twitter decline an offer that is nearly three times their estimated worth?"
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Apple Rumored To Want To Buy Twitter

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  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:52PM (#27838371) Homepage Journal

    and nothing of value will be lost.

    • by Stele (9443) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:06PM (#27838627) Homepage

      I've never used twitter...

      ...and nothing of value will be lost.

      • by MCSEBear (907831) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @07:09PM (#27839483)
        Hopefully, the cycle of companies with large expenses and no profits being purchased by the stupid will come to an end. We all know how profitable Skype [wikipedia.org] has been for after eBay paid 2.6 Billion dollars for them. Not to even mention how profitable Youtube [wikipedia.org] has been since Google paid a mere 1.65 Billion dollars for them.

        Apple is sitting on a buttload of cash right now, but wouldn't it be a hell of a lot more logical for them to build a fab with it? They certainly have been gathering in a whole lot of chip design expertise lately.
        • by Yizzerin (979112) <yizzerinNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @09:28PM (#27840693)
          I think your general point has merit, but your examples might not be 100% correct.

          We all know how profitable Skype [wikipedia.org] has been for after eBay paid 2.6 Billion dollars for them.

          Skype actually has been profitable [skypejournal.com] recently. That said, Skype does not match up well with eBay's overall business model and I remember reading that they are looking to sell it.

          Not to even mention how profitable Youtube [wikipedia.org] has been since Google paid a mere 1.65 Billion dollars for them.

          Could it be a branding/goodwill tool that also helps them drive users to their search? They certainly paid an exorbitant amount for the eventual profitability, regardless, but Google and YouTube are now both cultural icons.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by cdrudge (68377)

            Could it be a branding/goodwill tool that also helps them drive users to their search?

            Right. Because Google really needed YouTube to drive people to their search.

        • by Firehed (942385) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @10:31PM (#27841083) Homepage

          During the time of the YouTube acquisition, it was often discussed that they might have done it in order to set precedents for copyright laws and other distribution-related stuff (net neutrality, etc.) since Google has better lawyers than YouTube could have hoped to afford at the time. Theory being that if Youtube was sued, they wouldn't have the funding to fight unfair charges and a precedent would be set against them and other providers of free content; whereas with Google backing them they'd have the funding and/or legal team to win and have it go in their favor. It sucks that our court system favors who has the better lawyers and not what's actually in the law books, but that's life.

          Skype, on the other hand, was just a stupid choice by eBay. But you can't expect much different from a company that's founded around the very concept of bad buying decisions.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Alioth (221270)

          Google didn't pay 1.65bn, they actually paid most of the price using their highly overhyped and overinflated stock. So they were paying for one overinflated stock with another overinflated stock - net result, nothing of value was lost and most of that 1.65bn was actually notional and didn't really exist as such.

    • by Animaether (411575) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:09PM (#27838689) Journal

      your post is true both ways ;)

      <QuantumG> I will quit twitter
      <Twitter> and nothing of value will be lost

  • by levell (538346) * on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:53PM (#27838387) Homepage

    This Guardian article [guardian.co.uk] argues that the story is complete hot air, the two sources (Tech Crunch and ValleyWag) are both unconvinced themselves and the Twitter execs seem to be in the wrong part of the US to be locked into negotiations with Apple.

    Leaving aside whether it is true or not, it seems a very strange fit. Apple doesn't seem to gain very much in its core business from the acquisition

  • It would, at the very least, make for a much better Tweet App on my iPhone....
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You need a life. Twitter is the most useless waste of time and human resource. It is the domain of those with no personal life because they want everyone else to know when they take a toilet break.
      • by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac. c o m> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:53PM (#27839311) Journal

        Twitter is the most useless waste of time and human resource.

        I don't use it myself, but I've seen it come in handy on a number of occasions. I was at WWDC last year, and I went to a bar with a couple of friends. One of them posted where we were, and twenty minutes later we had a party with about a hundred people in attendance. Rather more convenient than looking up a bunch of people and calling them.

        -jcr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GF678 (1453005)

          I was at WWDC last year, and I went to a bar with a couple of friends. One of them posted where we were, and twenty minutes later we had a party with about a hundred people in attendance. Rather more convenient than looking up a bunch of people and calling them.

          The typical geek probably doesn't socialize enough to warrant such an opportunity to use something like Twitter, so that's part of the reason why Slashdotters don't understand its appeal.

          Slightly trollish, but accurate.

        • by Macrat (638047) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @08:44PM (#27840389)
          Yeah, but you only got the lonely losers who read Twitter.

          All the really interesting people were at the real parties.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Isn't it better to be at a bar with 100 friendly losers than sitting in your moms basement telling Slashdot how useless twitter is?

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      It would, at the very least, make for a much better Tweet App on my iPhone....

      Unless you believe that the only good tweet app is a dead tweet app.

      Why would they want to buy the latest entry in the spamiverse?

  • Don't care. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:54PM (#27838407)
    Twitter could be owned by the legion of doom and it still wouldn't make it interesting or remotely useful.
  • by religious freak (1005821) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:54PM (#27838411)

    And, can Twitter decline an offer that is nearly three times their estimated worth?"

    And how exactly was that value derived? Value is based on the present value of future earnings, and AFAIK, twitter has none. Any number in the hundreds of millions of dollars should be seriously looked at. What I don't understand is what Apple would do with Twitter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dripdry (1062282)
      This seems a little like Google acquiring Facebook. What value do either of things generate? While the article may not be true, could we please get away from more DotBomb 2.0 mentality? Maybe Apple wants to spread the rumor to drive up their stock price. See the following, as always re: Apple and Rumors: http://www.misterbg.org/AppleProductCycle/ [misterbg.org]
    • 1. Create something slightly different than previous attempts.
      2. Create a buzz and make it popular
      3. Sell out while the perceived value is high
      4. Profit!

      Let the smucks at Apple try to figure out how to make mass messaging profitable.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @07:06PM (#27839467)

      The value is based on a consistent 24/7 wankfest known as Twitter, and a large base of 21st century snake oil salesmen aka social media commentators.

      Want to see what Twitter is really about? Go watch it during a large scale emergency (find out whatever the hashtag is, then watch the bullshit fly in). It's the biggest wankfest in the history of wankfests. Every second comment is something like, "OMG TWITTER HAS COME OF AGE" or "OMG TWITTER IS REALLY SHINING THROUGH ON THIS EMERGENCY".

      But when you look past the bullshit, it's just the same shit OVER AND OVER with nothing of value offered whatsoever. People linking to already existing news stories. People retweeting non-sourced rumors. You could subscribe to a variety of RSS news feeds and get the same (but better) information, or go down to the local bar and listen to drunk guy offer his opinion.

      I have watched twitter during the Victorian Bushfires, and the recent Israel-Palestine debacle. Both times the majority of the tweets were crap. They didn't offer shit, it was a mish-mash of chaos, rumors, linking to news sources, and poor information.

      Seriously, the media severely overplays the value of twitter. Probably cause it's the ultimate representation of the 21st century: mass democracy (everyone has an opinion) + short sound bites for the ADHD/MTV generation = popularity with black rimmed glasses wearing social media nerds.

      Don't get me wrong, there are some parts of it that are ok. If you had an existing (closed) social network it'd be alright to communicate to each other (but you could do the same on facebook).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        But when you look past the bullshit, it's just the same shit OVER AND OVER with nothing of value offered whatsoever. People linking to already existing news stories. People retweeting non-sourced rumors. You could subscribe to a variety of RSS news feeds and get the same (but better) information, or go down to the local bar and listen to drunk guy offer his opinion.

        So, like CNN then?

  • Business Plan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrMarket (983874) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:54PM (#27838417) Journal

    1) Launch free web service
    2) ???
    3) Profit

    Can someone remind me how Twitter makes money. Or, at least how to justify a $700 million valuation?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Easy, if you value each tweet at 1 cent, that's how you derive the value. Of course, that's overvaluing each tweet by about 2 cents...

      But seriously, the value would be derived exactly how all these other companies are "valued"... with eyeballs... sort of analogous to the late 90's mania. I'm all for tech, but it's pretty tough to make money with no business model whatsoever.

      Steve leaves and within six months Apple goes and considers doing something really stupid (allegedly). Just shows you how impo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Can someone remind me how Twitter makes money. Or, at least how to justify a $700 million valuation?

      A few possible ways to derive value:

      1) Corporate cockblock - Apple spends a little cash to make sure nobody else turns it into the Next Big Thing in some way that threatens the iPhone.

      2) Eyeballs. I'm sure some beancounter will compare this deal to other ones to see how much each pair of eyeballs, or "impression", is worth in terms of valuation.

      3) Ad revenue (related to #2). Do some research on how one

    • by presidenteloco (659168) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:05PM (#27838615)

      Find out interesting keywords in what people say they are doing or talking about.

      Advertise something local and highly related to that person, in the form of a discount offer or something.

      Google ads for the attention-span-of-a-gnat generation?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Google ads for the attention-span-of-a-gnat generation?

        I'm sorry, what were we just talking about?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        They wouldn't even have to make money directly off Twitter. Apple has been drowning in their attempts to launch web services. Twitter could be the killer app and ecosystem they need to make MobileMe or future efforts less weak. It's flawed reasoning to think companies need to make money directly off all their properties. Blue chip companies hold properties like racing teams that are fiscal black holes used for the marketing and prestige they bring the company.
      • wut (Score:4, Funny)

        by copponex (13876) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @07:31PM (#27839689) Homepage

        I blve we r the smartest gen ever! My parents r dum and read 2$ newspprs 4 hours. I can read 30 secs on tw and get same info 4 0$ on my cpu!

    • Re:Business Plan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:13PM (#27838749) Homepage Journal

      The ??? used to be selling the attention you generate on your free service to advertisers. Google AdSense being the most profitable one for many. But it seems like the attention economy [howtonotma...online.com] is coming to an end, or at least the potential has been greatly reduced.

      Twitter doesn't include ads in their tweets or even on their website. According to this Create a Revenue Model for Twitter contest [businessinsider.com] they don't generate any revenue.

      Twitter isn't worth anything right now other than what investors would like to get back if they sell. I can't think of any way that their customer base could financially benefit any other company. The folks at Twitter seem to be in the same boat since they haven't been able to generate any significant revenue from their users.

  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:56PM (#27838445) Homepage

    Is there really much point in buying twitter? How difficult a thing is it to write that application? Or is the purpose almost entirely to grab the existing users?

    And how would this fit into Apple's strategy? I could think of much better ways that Apple could extend their MobileMe service.

    The whole thing seems slightly fishy to me.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s73v3r (963317) <[s73v3r] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:00PM (#27838515)
      Its more than the application. Its the millions of users that come with it.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:04PM (#27838591)
        And so did GeoCities and AOL but that didn't work out too well for Yahoo and Time Warner respectively. Users are fickle. They will move to other apps as trends dictate. Really I don't see the benefit to Apple. Now Apple might be talking to Twitter about better collaboration and integration.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by randombilly (1082811)
          Hmmm.. I imagine that if I had 29 BILLION dollars burning a hole in my pocket, I might consider buying the single most talked about web trend in current times; if for nothing more than to make my parent company among the most talked about things in current times. Good business sense.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by UnknowingFool (672806)
            Well considering this economy they might want to hold onto as much cash as they can. Apple traditionally buys companies that they really use. PA Semi was their last acquisition and it appears that they will design Apple's next iPod/iPhone chips. They bought NeXT and turned it into OS X. They bought the KeyGrip team and product from Macromedia that later became Final Cut. They bought Nothing Real for Shake, Emagic for Garage Band, etc.
        • And so did GeoCities and AOL but that didn't work out too well for Yahoo and Time Warner respectively.

          Time-Warner didn't buy AOL, they were bought by AOL. So the value of the userbase considerations weren't really comparable to the Apple-Twitter rumor or the Yahoo!-Geocities deal.

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by keytoe (91531) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:07PM (#27838665) Homepage

        Its more than the application. Its the millions of users that come with it.

        And how many of those millions aren't already included in the millions they have from the iPhone? Or the iTunes Music Store?

        No, I don't buy it - and I bet Apple won't either!

      • by neoform (551705)

        Apple already has a massive user base with macs, ipods and iphones.. this makes no sense, especially since twitter has no revenue or business model.

      • Its more than the application. Its the millions of users that come with it.

        Screw that. Just add a micro blogging component into the RSS and ATOM specs and join micro blogging with regular blogging. You already have a well known social communication platform with millions of bloggers.

        I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet and killed twitter.

      • by owlnation (858981)

        Its the millions of users that come with it.

        Considering its already been ascertained by Nielsen that Twitter is losing 70% of its userbase after the first month.

        It's quite simple: The Emperor is stark naked.

        There's nothing to buy. The userbase is next to non-existent -- or will be soon enough.

    • by owlnation (858981)

      Or is the purpose almost entirely to grab the existing users?

      Why?

      Oprah? Demi? Kutcher? A bunch of lame politicians pretending to be be cool? A bunch of fickle teenagers that will drop it in favor of the next thing by tomorrow lunchtime?

      For Tweeple? Why would anyone want to pay money for that user base? Even in the heady days of the first dot.com bubble Twitter would be obviously vacuous, with no future.

      Apple just don't need this waste of bandwidth. No-one does. Especially in the current economy

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrCrassic (994046)
      I posed this very same question to a group of tech entrepreneurs in a list that I'm subscribed to. A lot of them see immense value in Twitter because of the speed in which things "click" on it. If you're "followed" enough, you can literally create one tag and have a massive following on the Internet playing along with it in a matter of minutes, largely because a lot of people use the service through their phones.

      It's also a very effective marketing tool, as Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres have shown. In additi
  • Twitcher (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:58PM (#27838475) Homepage Journal

    I don't know, to me this Twitter tool is really synonymous with some sort of a twitch. Wouldn't the more appropriate name be 'Twitcher' with a slogan: Waiting for your twitch!

    Seriously, 700 million USD for this just shows that a dollar is not worth that much today and also it shows that people don't know what else to invest their money into, they would jump on anything, reminds me of selling a pencil at 50% loss but 'making it up in volume'.

    • Re:Twitcher (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:17PM (#27838815) Journal

      reminds me of selling a pencil at 50% loss but 'making it up in volume'.

      Easy :

      The quick buck artist pencil seller:

      1. Sell pencil at a 50% loss
      2. Jab pencil in buyer's eye socket
      3. Offer to remove said pencil for 5,000% PROFIT

      The scare-monger pencil seller:

      1. Sell pencils at 50% loss
      2. Start rumour that they cause lead poisoning
      3. Sell "anti-lead-poisoning kits" at mega-PROFIT

      The commodities market manipulator pencil seller:

      1. Sell pencils at 50% loss
      2. Sell pencil sharpener at 5,000% PROFIT
      3. Stop selling pencils and create artificial pencil shortage
      4. Offer to buy pencils at 1,000% over original price
      5. Have confederate sell pencils to speculators at "only" a 500% markup - PROFIT
      6. Announce that pens are the new pencils, buy back speculators pencils at 1 cent on the dollar
      7. Move to another town, lather, rinse, repeat
  • by mevets (322601) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:58PM (#27838477)

    Hello, this is a yahoo and I'm a twit...

  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:59PM (#27838489)

    This reminds me of Novell buying Word Perfect. Paid over a billion dollars, couldn't sell for $100m just years later if their life depended on it. If Twitter refuses the offer, they are dumber than a sack of bricks. In a few years no one will pay attention to them. Just another useless, 15-minute-of-fame "Oprah technology".

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:59PM (#27838499) Journal

    At first milidly interested in the technology, eventually appalled at the general lack of content.

    Or to put it another way, twitter is the sound of millions of people collectively discovering they have nothing important to say. Or in today's "Pickles", "Is it me, or is the world getting sillier and sillier?"

    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's tool, use it for what works for you.

    • by timholman (71886) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @10:39PM (#27841127)

      Or to put it another way, twitter is the sound of millions of people collectively discovering they have nothing important to say.

      Have you ever watched shows about tribes of baboons or chimps on PBS? And how they spend so much time grooming each other by picking the lice out of each others' hair?

      That's the mental image I get with any social network site. Lots of monkeys, picking the lice out of each others' hair. Except with Twitter, the monkeys shriek about who has found the biggest and juiciest lice, right before they eat them.

  • I'm interested in knowing how these numbers like $250m and $700m come about. I see absolutely no monetary value in such services, even the so-called ad-revenue or social data mining models all seem like big loss harbours rather than sources of profit.

    Are we back to the late 90s "no business model yet possible future earning potential" view of businesses?

    • by N7DR (536428)

      Are we back to the late 90s "no business model yet possible future earning potential" view of businesses?

      Yes.

  • What value (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:11PM (#27838727) Homepage Journal

    can Apple get out of it that they can't just using the API?
    Selling advertising isn't really what Apple does.

    I could see Google speculation, although I would rather they implemented there own.

    • Selling advertising isn't really what Apple does.

      Strangely, it isn't what twitter does either. Twitter has zero sources of revenue. None. They epitomize the dot-com ideal of 'build it now, make money later." We'll see if later ever comes for them.

  • Brand Name (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokerat (150341) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:17PM (#27838805) Journal

    Twitter has a very well known brand-name, probably about half of which comes from people bitching about it, or cracking jokes ("ok poop is coming out"). The application itself is nothing short of a status message, which where defined as early as May, 1993 (RFC 1459 [faqs.org], Section 5.1) or earlier (RFC 742 [faqs.org], December 1977 - finger w/plan), and there are dozens of "microblogging" sites out there already.

    If anyone buys Twitter, it will only be for the most over hyped and thus well-known up-and-coming brand names of the last couple years.

  • by Verminator (559609) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:18PM (#27838831)
    First Steve kills the Newton.

    Then, MacBooks with no FireWire.

    Now this.

    OK, OK, we get it already. You hate us.
  • by BlackSabbath (118110) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:23PM (#27838925) Homepage

    Twitter. Triumph of humanity [apple.com]

    I admit I don't get the fascination.

    Technically, its DIY IRC channel meets party-line SMS. Cool. The "how" I get.

    But WHY? The "why" completely escapes me. Is Twitter more profound than the inanity of IRC and the incessant texting of pubescent students on public transport?

    At best it looks like a way to share spontaneous brain dumps with mates, at worst it seems like a pathetic attempt at social closeness between a bunch of strangers you wouldn't even look at if you bumped into them.

    Whatever it is - if Twitter is humanity's triumph then we're f**ked.

    Either that or I'm an old fart.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...

      Either that or I'm an old fart.

      your nick confirm the second option

      --
      eating bats rules !

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hal9000(jr) (316943)
      The parent comment is not insightful.Twitter can be all the inane things the parent describes. Just like small talk can be inane, launching and goofing around can be inane, and school kid chatter is inane. But that is only one use of Twitter.

      I work from home and I am relatively secluded during my work day. I am not a social butterfly by any means, but I like to talk and socialize to take a small break. Twitter gives me the opportunity to have those quick social interactions during my work-day.

      I am a
    • by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @10:07PM (#27840957)

      http://search.twitter.com/ [twitter.com]

      Want to know what's happening right now in that major sporting event (or get an update on a somewhat more obscure sporting event)? Want to hear people's views on that great episode of the TV show you just watched, or the latest takes and interesting links on the world's breaking news events.

      If there's buzz about anything or anyone worth buzzing about, you can get it in real time. The world's opinions, raw and unfiltered, aggregated instantly.

      I've been plodding around the Internet for 15 year, and this is the closest I've seen to something that lets you feel the pulse of the beast.

  • It's hard to think of a more ideal match.

    Apple is very close to the point of self-parody.
  • First off, it's not even rumor-mongering -- it's some hack making shit up to increase his pageviews.

    Secondly, it's a stupid idea.

    Thirdly, it ain't gonna happen.

    Fourthly, everyone expects Apple to buy everything (Sony, Nintendo, Be, Sun, Palm, ...) and they generally don't.

    Fifthly, who cares? Twitter's already over. The "cool" people have moved on to hype other new stuff (remember Blogs? remember Podcasts?)

  • twitterverse? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:47PM (#27839243)
    I'd like to meet the person that coined the word "twitterverse". And hurt them. A lot.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:51PM (#27839291)
    I would be nice if people could come up with vaguely realistic Apple rumours to increase their page hits rather than inane drivel like this. If anyone even remotely thinks this rumour is true then they have absolutely no clue. Period.
  • by Eil (82413) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:51PM (#27839295) Homepage Journal

    And, can Twitter decline an offer that is nearly three times their estimated worth?"

    Sure, why not?

    Why does the rumor mill, mass media, and business world assume that every company that strikes oil on the Internet need to be bought by a larger corporate entity once they've proven their worth? Not that I'm a huge fan of Twitter or anything, but the owners of the company have every goddamn reason not to sell the whole thing to behemoth like Apple.

    Sure, they can cash out and get their millions of dollars now. Or, they can use their brains and make Twitter into a solid, consistent business model and make many more millions over the course of years or decades. Do you honestly think Google or Red Hat or Amazon would still be around if they sold out to the first bidder to come along? If Twitter wants to use its current success to build a foundation for a stable long-term company, they must remain agile and simply cannot let some big corporation tell them what's best.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by onkelonkel (560274)
      Point Cast!

      A little internet paleontology for you- Back in the days of IE4 "push" technology was the next big thing and PointCast was the big player in push. They turned down a $450 million purchase offer because they figured they could do better. The market for "push" tanked and they turned down ever lower offers and in the end I think they got about $7 mil.
  • news flash! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Un pobre guey (593801) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @07:50PM (#27839927) Homepage
    Cupertino, CA, May 5, 2009 - Apple computer is rumored to be buying several flattened cigarette butts on the northwest corner of Castro St. and Central Expressway, in Mountain View, CA for $650 million. The cigarette butts are approximately 40 cm from the nearest curb edge. A squashed aluminum can, possibly a beer can, is in the gutter nearby. A paper bag with the partially wrapped remains of a beef burrito are also lying in close proximity to the cigarette butts, but do not appear to be part of the deal. In any event, a crow has been attempting to unwrap the burrito during most of the morning, presumably to abscond with the remains. Apple spokespersons declined to discuss the deal on the record, but it was made known later that the cigarette butts were in the middle of Silicon Valley, and therefore extremely valuable for that reason alone. One of the cigarette butts reportedly has lipstick stains, but that has not yet been confirmed.
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @10:32PM (#27841089)
    Are none of you seeing the big picture? Apple doesn't want to buy Twitter, the micro-blog service, they want to buy Twitter, the slashdot user. The actual GUY, not the username. They want a slave with a bajillion slashdot sockpuppets to moderate in articles just like this one.
  • From that page on apple's site about twitter clearly Apple thinks they have a similar dna.

    What could it be used for? Well here's an idea called "Screw the RIAA".

    In this monetization possibility (or fantasy you decide), Apple makes twitter groups for every rock band performance in the world, and anybody can twit on it about going there, the band can put special info and links to its site on it, you can basically start an indie craze from nothing.

    Now Twitter makes me gag and I would hate using it or being forced to read it. But, it might be neat if you opened it to a lot of people per channel and used it to focus interest, the way usenet groups used to, and you can maybe make anybody with an Apple iphone etc. become a potential uploader to some flash crowd twitter group.

    These band appearances and twitter threads lead people to the band's site for info, and to iTunes to download the band's stuff for money, and this is a realization of the model that everyone has talked about for ages about how to screw the RIAA and get bands to communicate and sell directly to their fans. Same could go for films, books, etc.

    Only thing is, I don't see any reason why you couldn't build the same thing (twitter lookalike, easy, and iTunes type sales portal, not so easy). I suppose having the hardware and iTunes associations already, and the mass and early to market edge, might be enough to make Apple take a chunk out of the RIAA's sales and give authors a higher income. That and the advertising for ipods, iphones and iTunes, would be neat and might be worth the cash.

Your own mileage may vary.

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