With Google and Disney bowing out — and Salesforce throwing cold water on a deal — Twitter’s acquisition hopes seem dead on arrival. Though an internal struggle over any acquisition may be bubbling, there’s one company that remains a dark horse; a company that has every reason to want a news platform that moves at the speed of light, but has a social layer attached along with some streaming media add-ons. Yup, we’re talking about Apple.
It’s not crazy
Let’s break down what Twitter is in 2016. You’ve obviously got social, but that’s sputtering along. Twitter has gone so far as to rebrand itself as a news app in the App and Play Stores to distance itself from social. Still, social matters. Twitter has looped in several social tricks like contextual stickers and longer video playback to help encourage people to actually use it.
Twitter is also a video streaming service. Remember that chatter about Apple wanting to start its own TV service, but having trouble striking deals with networks or entities like the NFL? There’s nothing wrong with buying your way in.
Its main focus is now news, and Apple News could use something that makes it more real-time. Alerts might surface news items once a journalist hits ‘publish,’ but that’s a lot of obfuscation between ‘breaking’ and ‘happened.’ right now, Apple News is basically Flipboard — but it can (and should0 be more. Twitter fits that mold nicely.
The rest of Twitter
When we hear ‘Twitter may be acquired’ we narrow our scope to the streaming service we interact with (maybe?) daily. There’s more to Twitter, though.
Vine is a good bit of fun, but also recently expanded its scope to become more than a six-second looping video feed. In letting users submit video that’s about two minutes long, there’s a lot of synergy between it and Twitter that the company hasn’t yet seized.
Periscope is to video what Twitter is for 140-characters. It’s punchy, immediate and downright easy to master. Its real-time, contextual aim is a winning proposition for a company that wants to get into the news and streaming video game as Apple does. And there’s a heavy developer angle to Twitter. Fabric, the company’s dev-centric toolkit, would make a tidy home inside of Apple.
While some of the third-party workarounds may be lost (unless Apple also buys Stripe, which lol no), the framework is there for Apple to re-position Fabric as internal tools for developers. Think TestFlight, which Apple bought and — more or less — left alone.
You probably wouldn’t even know it was coming, either
Do you know how many startups and companies Apple acquires in a given year? No, you don’t — nobody outside the company really does. While Apple couldn’t avoid a very Beats-like public spectacle in buying Twitter, it might be kicking the tires incognito.
With Beats, Apple was poised to revamp iTunes into streaming, so all eyes were on its next move.Twitter, though — Twitter is unnecessary.
Apple could very well build what Twitter has, it would just take time. The downside there is time itself. We don’t want to wait for Apple to figure out streaming deals and how to capture real-time news or if there’s a good social sharing platform it can think of (we blast it for trying social, but we still give it a shot when there’s something like Ping or Connect ). The time is now.
And while Twitter stock is at an all-time low, I say but the company and keep the executives tweeting.