Analysis: Why would Apple invest in Twitter?

By Sooraj Shah
30 Jul 2012 View Comments
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Rumours are circulating that Apple, the world's most valuable company, is discussing terms with social networking site Twitter on taking a stake of the company.

Further reading

The New York Times reported that Apple had talked with Twitter in recent months about making a "strategic investment" in it, which could be worth "hundreds of millions of dollars". According to the NYT, it had been informed of the discussion by people who had been briefed on the matter but did not want to be named as the negotiations were private.

It said that the social network, valued at $8.4bn (£5.3bn) last year, could be valued at more than $10bn (£6.3bn) if an Apple investment was to be made.

But contrary to these rumours, reports from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal suggest that discussions are not currently taking place.

Ovum analyst Tony Cripps said he could see why Apple might be tempted to invest in Twitter.

"Companies like Microsoft and Apple have been on similar trajectories in terms of consumer offerings; they stack up a range of services that look similar to each other and try to leverage the user base of one or more of the services offered to gain traction from their users. They are trying to give fewer reasons for users to look elsewhere for services they provide," he explained.

"Facebook and Twitter have a profound level of engagement with their users, and one thing is clear – Apple is not in the social networking space and so making an investment in Twitter, to some extent, could help deliver that.

"The social glue that encourages users to do more on a device is a key element that makes the ecosystem work properly, and right now it is not the strongest part of Apple's offering," he added.

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