About a year ago, May 5, 2009 to be precise rumors began to fly that Apple was looking to purchase Twitter. This was after Facebook, Google, and Microsoft had been reported to have made attempts at purchasing the company. At that time it seemed crazy that Apple would look to purchase the company as reported by MacRumors, “Twitter continues to run on venture capital funding and has yet to find a revenue stream.” However, Twitter did have some other interesting features. It had been recently featured on Apple.com in the Business profile section. It was an entire company nearly run completely on Apple computers. It was a wanted commodity by Apple competitors and many Mac Bloggers at the time had some interesting ideas of what Apple planned to do once it purchased Twitter.
Owen Thomas in a Gawker article felt that, “if you understand the particular culture of those who work on the Web. While Apple might have it’s pick of hardware designers and software engineers, Web developers are a breed apart — and they have balked at working at a company like Apple, which may look innovative to the world at large, but seems fusty and hidebound to the Mission hipsters who build websites.” Thomas continued, “Apple is surely realizing it needs to play in this world [web], and needs someone to show it the way. Is it coincidence that Apple has put Twitter executives on stage so frequently, or that it profiled Twitter as a “business” recently?” Believing that, “If Apple buys Twitter, it won’t be about making money. It will be about making a statement. In 140 characters or less.”
Thomas believed that Apple’s acquisition of Twitter would be a move to grab web savvy designers and be able to harness them to help Apple enter the world of web class applications past what MobileMe currently was. Apple was looking to make a statement with the purchase of the company but what if Apple had other plans at the time besides social networking or grabbing some skilled web designers.
What would have happened if Apple had purchased Twitter for the technology it possessed and looked to integrate it into the iPhone and iPad. I had hoped that Apple would look to Twitter to create a system of messaging for the iPhone. I thought of Apple’s attempt to make a version of BBM for the iPhone and other potential devices such as the iPad. Apple had hoped that by not including picture messaging on the original iPhone users would have smartly taken to emailing photos instead of desiring MMS. Yet, this did not catch and Apple eventually folded adding MMS support.
Text messaging was prior to the age of smart phones with data plans and while Apps promise free text messaging they also require a second number, an email or some type of inconviense to the user that often question whether saving $20 a month is worth the pain free process of text messaging. BlackBerry’s service BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) allows for push conversations between all BlackBerry Devices. It is a popular favorite with my friends who own a BlackBerry and often a bragging point used when comparing phones. However, imagine Twitter becoming the major means of conversation between phone users as opposed to text messaging. It would be free for any phone with a data contract and it is being widely adopted. If Apple had purchased Twitter this might have been one of their plans.
Since May 5, 2009 when rumors started to fly it seems that Twitter has only grown in popularity and Apple publicly has made no more advances towards the company. Especially after yesterday’s Twitter bug it seems Apple might have made the smart way staying away from the company.