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Apple Reportedly Considering Huge Investment In Twitter 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-googses dept.
The NY Times reports that Apple has internally discussed an investment into Twitter to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. From the article: "There is no guarantee that the two companies, which are not in negotiations at the moment, will come to an agreement. But the earlier talks are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook. Apple has not made many friends in social media. Its relationship with Facebook, for example, has been strained since a deal to build Facebook features into Ping, Apple's music-centric social network, fell apart. Facebook is also aligned with Microsoft, which owns a small stake in it. And Google, an Apple rival in the phone market, has been pushing its own social network, Google Plus. 'Apple doesn't have to own a social network,' Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at a recent technology conference. 'But does Apple need to be social? Yes.'"
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Apple Reportedly Considering Huge Investment In Twitter

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:32AM (#40799487)

    It's not chump change by any means, but - Apple spending a few hundred million dollars on ANYTHING hardly qualifies as a "huge investment". They've got - what - something like $100 billion in the bank?

  • by ExploHD (888637) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:34AM (#40799495)
    With all of their assets in the bank, they could do more R&D or they can start absorbing other companies. Looks like we know what their plan is now; I expect Apple technology to be at the same level as everybody else, from here on out.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hundreds of millions won't buy Twitter. But it might be enough to prevent Google from buying Twitter. I don't think there is any doubt that Google wants Twitter. If they were able to buy Twitter and integrate it into Google+, then they would instantly be a social networking competitor to Facebook.

      I think Apple thinks its cash horde would be more useful for blocking competitors rather than buying startups like Microsoft. Time will tell.

    • Didn't you ever play an economic simulation game? Dumping money into R&D ends up bottoming out at some point. The way to win the game is to increase productivity to bring the cost of manufacturing down
    • With all of their assets in the bank, they could do more R&D or they can start absorbing other companies.

      Apple can do both R&D and acquisition. And they can do it with cash, they don't even need to go into debt. They have over $US110 billion in cash.

      • Apple can do both R&D and acquisition.

        When is Apple going to start doing R&D?

    • by Tough Love (215404) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:49AM (#40799773)

      With all of their assets in the bank, they could do more R&D or they can start absorbing other companies.

      Well, any company with a decent business plan has a P/E too high for even Apple to afford. (Example: Facebook - P/E 125)

      Fallback is to buy cheaper companies with lower margin, thus averaging down their own margin. Brilliant. See, unless the acquistion is diabolically stategic, shareholders would be better off just taking the cash out in dividends. And Apple hasn't been showing a whole lot of brilliance lately.

    • by Tom (822)

      Why do you assume that the "or" in your first sentence has to be an XOR ?

      With all of their cash, they can do both - and they should.

    • What do you mean by "from here on out"? Apple has never invested much in research or innovation; they either copy or buy what they need, and they always have:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU [youtube.com]

      What has made Apple successful is that they have good taste in what they pick.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This hasn't been a valid tactic for Apple until now because Microsoft had more cash. If the interim Jobs-less years had coincided with Apple having money they'd have gone this route a long time ago.

  • Anyone here (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkfeline (1890882) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:34AM (#40799499)
    actually use twitter? In my mind, all it is is vendor-locked-down RSS feeds for monkeys with short attention spans. Does that intersect with Apple's userbase at all?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, totally

    • by Anonymous Coward

      actually use twitter? In my mind, all it is is vendor-locked-down RSS feeds for monkeys with short attention spans. Does that intersect with Apple's userbase at all?

      tl;dr.

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      Although I've been a bit busy lately and eased off, yes I still feel twitter is the better of the social networks.
      Here's why. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1912186&cid=34568664 [slashdot.org]

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes I get your point. Ads on tv would have a web site, then twitter and Facebook.
      Then just twitter and Facebook.
      Now just Facebook is mentioned if web part of the promotion.
    • Re:Anyone here (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @04:53AM (#40800117) Homepage Journal

      Finally a like mind!

      I've never understood what the whole Twitter fad is all about. For SMS messages, at least the length limit has a technical purpose. For artistic reasons, extreme limits sometimes work as well. But for expressing thoughts or anything?

      It's a cute idea gone horribly wrong, in my eyes. But apparently, in a world where ADD is cool, it's exactly what the monkeys want.

      If anything, Twitter is living reminder that I don't understand the world anymore. I simply don't get it, and I don't understand how the company can be worth more than, say, the pub down the street.

      • Twitter is a marketing tool for brands and industry. It's a dream mechanism for them: a fan, or anyone with a slight interest in the product/brand/artist, is encouraged to "follow" the appropriate twitter stream, and so is thereby locked into a steady barrage of product updates designed to also reinforce the vendor/customer relationship by adding the semblance of making it "personal.'

        Of course, there are many Tweeters who aren't selling anything; theirs are the buyers' eyeballs being marketed to the seller

      • by Deorus (811828)

        I've never understood what the whole Twitter fad is all about. For SMS messages, at least the length limit has a technical purpose. For artistic reasons, extreme limits sometimes work as well. But for expressing thoughts or anything?

        It's a service for people to express whatever the fuck goes on in their mind, a microblog if you like. It also serves as an extremely effective way to alert people to local events of relevance since tweets are curated and retweeted by the public. It provides the benefits of RS

        • by Tom (822)

          It's a service for people to express whatever the fuck goes on in their mind,

          I pity them if what goes on in their mind fits into 140 characters. Oh, wait - it often doesn't. That's why people have invented all those shortcuts and tricks. Instead of, you know, simply lifting a completely bullshit character limitation.

          If you don't understand the world, have you considered the possibility that you may be a retard?

          Not everyone who is different from the mainstream is dumber.

          • by Deorus (811828)

            I pity them if what goes on in their mind fits into 140 characters. Oh, wait - it often doesn't. That's why people have invented all those shortcuts and tricks. Instead of, you know, simply lifting a completely bullshit character limitation.

            That's a feature, not a limitation. People are less likely to care about what you post if you post an essay than if you post a teasing headline with a link to an essay.

            Not everyone who is different from the mainstream is dumber.

            I don't use social networks either, includ

      • That's only because you're using the Latin alphabet for your language. If you using Chinese, Japanese, or Korean to express your thoughts 140 characters is plenty.

      • It's pretty simple: if SMS is point-to-point, Twitter is broadcast.

        Provided you are sane and use a protected account, it's part microblog and part one-to-many SMS. Most folk I know have 25-50 'friends' and it is a heck of a lot easier to tweet "pub at 16:30!" than to text each one individually. Bonus points for being able to stay connected with friends in other states on a day-to-day basis in near real-time.

        Now the whole business about having an open account and/or following people you don't personally kn

        • by Tom (822)

          Broadcasting to everyone you know about something that affects only some of them is spamming, plain and simple. I thought every modern phone supported SMS to multiple recipients.

    • vendor-locked-down [x]

      RSS feeds for monkeys [x]

      short attention spans [x]

      Does that intersect with Apple's userbase at all? 3-for-3, dude! Surprised Apple didn't think of this sooner!

    • Actually, yes, but for a very limited purpose. I live in San Francisco and the local transit agency, the SFMTA [sfmta.com] tweets system-wide status updates about service disruptions or changes in real-time. Now that Twitter has finally (!) added push notifications for those you follow, it's actually quite handy when using public transit here.

      I also follow a couple of other local government things and that's about it.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I tweet a little bit, but I stop short of being a total twat. I tweet stuff like invitations to sign petitions and so on, so that I don't clutter up my failbook wall or my G+ stream with it. Except, now that CREDO Action (the source of pretty much all my petition tweets) has come out against the second amendment I've kicked them to the curb.

  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by undulato (2146486) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:38AM (#40799505) Homepage
    Now I'll _have_ on to Google plus..
  • by mfearby (1653) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @01:48AM (#40799539) Homepage

    With Apple's huge pile of cash they could shell out a few bucks to improve their file manager. It's a child's toy compared to what it should have evolved into by now. The path bar is something so sad that even I could have designed it. The dock is nasty, too. And they could add some preference options for people who come from normal computing backgrounds -i.e., ones where the Home and End keys actually move to the beginning and end of the current line. Gee, that'd be awesome, wouldn't it? It won't even cost much, either. But will Apple lift so much as a finger to even consider improving what they already have in lieu of dreaming up more shiny to distract users from the fact that some aspects of their OS have been crappy from day one??? Nope. Because they're utterly hopeless. I'll stick to my Linux, thanks.

    • I agree with you about Finder, but for home/end of a line, just press CMD+Left/Right. This just an idiosyncrasy of the OS, like pressing CMD+Down/Up to navigate folders instead of Enter and...is there even a "up one folder level" shortcut in Windows?
      • by mfearby (1653)

        "Just do such and such" is the retort of many an Apple zealot, but the whole point is that Apple stubbornly refuses to even add a preference icon to allow such things to be modified to ease the transition of those who have learned - and cannot unlearn - a lifetime's habit. You might consider it to be very smart business indeed: add something that won't annoy existing users but which might help the hordes of Windows users looking for a refuge (and they will grow exponentially when 8 comes out). But no, The M

      • by Trepidity (597)

        I find cmd+left/right really awkward for that, because it's so often used for other things. For example, if you have the URL bar focused in a browser, cmd+left/right work to go to the beginning or end of the text field. But if you accidentally didn't have the URL bar focused, cmd+left becomes the browser's "back" button! And, it doesn't work at all in Terminal, where cmd+left/right cycle through terminals.

    • by value_added (719364) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:54AM (#40799799)

      And they could add some preference options for people who come from normal computing backgrounds -i.e., ones where the Home and End keys actually move to the beginning and end of the current line.

      My computing background has taught me that Home and End keys are represented by CTRL-A and CTRL-E, respectively. When I bought my first Mac, I was pleased to discover that what I learned was still valid and Just Worked as promised. ;-)

      Granted, what you say about some of Finder's behaviour is valid, and similarly valid (but often less annoying) for replacement file managers like Path Finder, but I reckon few really care or notice. And of those that do, they probably have trivial needs. File management is important to me so instead of maintaining A Really Big List of why Finder, Path Finder et al suck, I opted for the CMS route, dropping to a terminal as needed and relying on a mix of AppleScript + Bash for routine chores.

      If it helps. Option + Up Arrow can take you to Home where Home is the top of a list.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mfearby (1653)

        Apple prided themselves on making computing easy, but to release a file manager and then never improve upon it, and to expect users to write Apple Scripts (what a stupid language *that* is!) or to fire up a Terminal (Oh no, the most unholy of unholies on a Mac OS, using a command-line!), is something I will never understand. Apple seem to be hell-bent on NEVER improving the Finder. Path Finder isn't much chop, either. It still offers the "Replace" button instead of merging folders like normal operating syst

        • by Deorus (811828)

          There are no Home or End keys on Apple keyboards. Darwin is all about implementing a very specific paradigm where all the directory hierarchy within bundles is preserved in the filesystem, and the file manager provides an abstraction that enables that regardless of how the underlying operating system works. This is why your drive is formatted as case-insensitive HFS+ by default as well as why accessing your home directory directly from the file manager is such an unintuitive task (your home directory, fro

    • by am 2k (217885)

      With Apple's huge pile of cash they could shell out a few bucks to improve their file manager. It's a child's toy compared to what it should have evolved into by now.

      The file cabinet metaphor is on its way out on the Apple platforms, and Apple isn't know for investing a lot of money into legacy tools.

      The dock is nasty, too.

      Not much to go by here for me...

      And they could add some preference options for people who come from normal computing backgrounds -i.e., ones where the Home and End keys actually move to the beginning and end of the current line. Gee, that'd be awesome, wouldn't it?

      No, Mac users are used to them moving to the start and end of the document. If Apple would change that, all Mac users would cry bloody murder. Cmd-left/right work just fine.

      But will Apple lift so much as a finger to even consider improving what they already have in lieu of dreaming up more shiny to distract users from the fact that some aspects of their OS have been crappy from day one???

      That's probably harder to sell than some shiny new features.

      • The file cabinet metaphor is on its way out on the Apple platforms, and Apple isn't know for investing a lot of money into legacy tools.

        That's fucking stupid.

    • I'll stick to my Linux, thanks.

      And, clearly, you and your fellow Linux brethren represent an enormous market potential compared to the market that doesn't care about everything you just complained about.

      Seriously, for those that constantly wonder why Linux hasn't broken out into the mainstream, this is a perfect example of why - the things that are important to Linux users are basically the complete, total, exact opposite of what is important to the average user of a computer. If you ever want The Year of Linux to actually happen, you ne

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @02:29AM (#40799683)
    What if apple bought it(or just enough stake in it) to changed that?
  • Each tweet now subject to the rigourous reviews of Apple, for quality control (and mind control).
  • Will Twitter's use of rounded corners now become legal?

    And will Appwitter start suing websites that also use them?

  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caffemacchiavelli (2583717) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @04:16AM (#40799999)
    I fail to see anything but Dutch tulips in this. What can Apple possibly gain here, in real terms, not "Uhm we need to be social" lingo?

    I could understand Google's, FB's, even MS' interest; they all found ways to monetize eyeballs, even though FB is still trying to mature and Bing seems to be moving backwards. But Apple? They sell high-end hipster equipment. What do they need a free SMS spamming service for? I can already tell the world what I had for breakfast and which mobile device I elected to publish this momentous bit of information with, I'm not sure more integration will make my customer experience better in any meaningful way.
  • Now exclusively available in the app store for 2.99
  • by bryan1945 (301828) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @06:59AM (#40800515) Journal

    To the coming of the MacTwits.

  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Saturday July 28, 2012 @12:49PM (#40802555)

    I wonder is it possible that in return for Apple heavily investing in Twitter, Twitter moves its data servers to one of the big server farms Apple operates. That way, Twitter has the capacity to handle even more message loads.

  • The Wall Street Journal responded to claims of there being talks by pointing out that there are none and that the information is a year old [wsj.com]. Not only that, the information was broken a year ago by the New York Times, which is apparently conflating old information for something new.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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