Is Apple Eying Twitter?

The little Twitter bird is singing the beautiful song of success! Nobody can deny Twitter is hot. The micro-messaging network is so hot right now that it is the topic of discussion wherever you turn. With their user base growing more than 1000% in just one year, it has registered the fastest growth when compared to other social networking sites, what else can you expect? Not one to be left behind, Oprah got in, opened a Twitter account and got 900,000 followers within a month. Everyone wants a piece of Twitter; including Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres and others.

It’s no surprise that all the big cats are now vying with each other to get their hands on this golden bird. Rumor goes that Google wanted it but was turned down. Facebook offered cash and stock worth $500 million, but it is believed Twitter investors were not quite sure that Facebook’s stock was worth as much as they claimed. The price has been going up as fast and furious as the Twitter users themselves.

Now, fresh rumors that have been circulating talk about Apply eying this social networking giant. According to sources, the purchase price it offered is $700 million – in cash and negotiations are on full swing. Oh yes! Apple has plenty of that (27 billion) and can pay cash. Gossip mongers even go to the extent of saying that the acquisition will be announced in June at the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in San Jose.

Twitter is receiving “tweet” nothings from everyone that matters – Google, Microsoft, News Corp., and now Apple too; although this is being discarded by many as yet another rumor. Putting two and two together, observers remark that it was only a couple of weeks ago that Apple profiled the site.

Although, it is considered ridiculous because Twitter and Apple are poles apart; getting a stake in the hottest internet product could catapult Apple ahead of both Yahoo and Microsoft in terms of internet foothold.

People in the know are questioning Apple’s logic behind buying Twitter – why would Apple need Twitter? Twitter would provide Apple a solid marketing and sales platform for the distribution of their products.

Here are ten interesting ways Apple could work Twitter into its products, according to CNN:

• Bring Twitter support into Apple’s messaging app, iChat.
• Use Twitter for RSS-like feeds, such as iTunes songs, TV shows, movies, iPhone apps, movie trailers etc.
• Tweet photos and may be videos from iPhone, auto-uploaded to TwitPic, YouTube etc.
• Tweet photos from iPhoto on Mac, auto-tagging Twitter contacts.
• Twitter contacts in phonebook on iPhone and Mac.
• Read tweets while watching a video on Apple TV.
• Twitter search option in Safari.
• Tweet songs you listen to in iTunes on the iPhone, giving a link for download from iTunes.
• Suggested iTunes playlists/purchases based on the most tweeted songs.
• Incorporating Twitter sign-in into iPhone and iPod touch so that all apps can access it via one API.

An analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, Dan Olds, said that if Apple acquired Twitter, it could make for an interesting combination. He stated, “Apple has the right ‘attitude’ to run something like Twitter, plus the ability to monetize it with advertising. I can see where Twitter might fit quite nicely into the Apple empire. It would give Apple a strong entry into the social networking market and also a very solid advertising vehicle.”

However, all this is just a lot of speculation, and no one knows the real reason behind this madness; i.e. if Apple happens to be interested in Twitter at all. This is a big IF!

Amongst all this, what has Twitter got to say? Twitter has for long, been sending strong signals that it is not on the market. Recently, Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter also denied all rumors and said that it is not for sale, adding that right now, Twitter is focusing on developing new features and on remaining independent.

Despite all the denials and both parties crying hoarse that there is nothing to these rumors, those who believe that there cannot be smoke without fire are keeping their eyes wide open for any new developments on the Apple-Twitter front. I know the “rumor” is slowly dying down for now, but when it involves two giants, everything leads to a discussion. Would love to know what you have to say about this whole thing.

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