The Perfect Reason why Apple should buy Twitter

Posted in business,findings,mac,media,mobile,society,software,technology by christoph.burgdorfer on the May 8th, 2009

In the last couple of days, rumors have appeared claiming Apple wanted to buy Twitter. At the first glance, this doesn’t make much sense.

apple twitter logo

It just occurred to me, that there is actually a perfect reason for Apple to buy Twitter. In fact, it could turn Twitter into a massive money making machinery. Let me explain:

Three key elements lead to this perfect deal:

  • the fact, that SMS is the most expensive way of transporting data. There is the famous analogy that if you want to download Star Wars via SMS you’d have to pay as much as producing the whole movie.
  • the Apple iPhone OS 3.0 and particularly its push message functionality (push notifications)
  • the 25 million Twitter users
  • You probably already guessed what I’m going to write next: Twitter will replace SMS on the iPhone! Or in other words: If you have an iPhone, you can send free push notification messages (i.e. Tweets) to other iPhone users AND across the Twitter community. For free! Because of the large user base, there is no chasm to cross or no Metcalfe’s law to deal with.

    Who wins? Apple! They have established a new USP for the iPhone with 25m users who can see immediate benefit: free peer-to-peer push messaging!

    This is all just a hypothesis. One thing’s for sure though: The operators wouldn’t like that idea.

    7 Responses to 'The Perfect Reason why Apple should buy Twitter'

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    1. granny said,

      on May 8th, 2009 at 1:08 am

      apple doesn’t buy stuff that sucks.

    2. NickPick said,

      on May 8th, 2009 at 7:44 am

      Why not just send an email in the first place? People on the iphone have push email anyway.

    3. nako said,

      on May 8th, 2009 at 9:17 am

      man, I like you’re logic. what could even more interesting is taking the mash-up nature of twitter and reinventing the SMS. it’s an SMS that extends as developers create add-ons. again, because of the nature of the iPhone, you could retrieve the twitter variables, hum… should we do an app? πŸ˜‰

    4. Mario Aeby said,

      on May 8th, 2009 at 11:52 am

      I don’t think so:

      – 25 Million Twitter users compared to 4 billion mobile handsets being manufactured in 2010 [1].
      – Twitter is proprietary bullshit (from a technical point of view), SMS is standardized. SMS is used by billions out there and I don’t see how you wanna convert billions of accustomed SMS users to become Twitter fans over night.
      – Usual people don’t get the concept of Twitter. Do you really want your sensitive love letter sms to end up on Twitter.com? Twitter is 1:n, while SMS stays 1:1 (of course you can send private messages through Twitter, but its the default setting that matters: Twitter = public, SMS = private)
      – Twitter is discrete – if you miss a message from someone, it doesn’t really matter … but what about the SMS from your girlfriend telling she’ll be 10 minutes late for your date? You don’t wanna get this info by Twitter, do you?
      – You need a permanent internet connection to receive Twits. SMS you get on every GSM network, even if it is dead slow (much less overhead than HTTP).

      Always remember that Apple is following the KISS approach. Why a) put in a middleman (Twitter) and b) why replace a common standard? I hope they don’t buy Twitter, but if they do, please Apple, don’t pay a too high price for it. It’s just a hype, after all!

      [1] http://www.intomobile.com/2007/05/09/soren-petersen-cell-phone-industry-to-sell-4-billion-handsets-by-2010.html

    5. Christoph said,

      on May 9th, 2009 at 8:11 am

      @nickpick: at least 3 reasons why Twitter would be a better alternative:
      a.) e-mail is not authenticated, Twitter is (I can send you an e-mail which looks like it’s coming from “bill gates”)
      b.) Twitter is centralised, e-mail is decentralised (centralisation is good to control spamming for example)
      c.) Twitter has the popular “feed” functionality. Practically an rss feed but in a sexier packaging. I don’t know if Oprah Winfrey Has got an rss feed – she certainly got a Twitter feed.

      @Nako: great idea! certainly, I’m up for it! πŸ˜‰

    6. on December 16th, 2012 at 9:52 am

      You may well be turning away a lot of individuals who may have been fans of your site*~* http://members.webs.com/MembersB/editAppPage.jsp?app=blog&pageID=287747884&token=null#blog/show/20870290-brazilian-100-human-hair

    7. on January 20th, 2013 at 6:48 am

      I donΓ­t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already πŸ˜‰ Cheers!

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