If Twitter wants to be the world's instant and ubiquitous social network, it's going to need a lot more than TweetDeck.
Twitter is said to be acquiring British developer TweetDeck
for $50 million, in an apparent attempt to own the market for Twitter access
. As Founder Dick Costolo said in February, "Twitter should be like water," and apparently that means owning most of the faucets. While we're all still scratching our heads at the $10 billion valuation, Mr. Costolo, take the time to put a few more things on Twitter's shopping list. Some of them might even be profitable.D
[Front page image: Flickr user Isaac Z. Schlueter]
Canv.as, Christopher "moot" Poole's new startup
, creates a community around the kind of meme-fodder that so often spreads by way of Twitter and TwitPic. Buying up a site like Canv.as would give Twitter some way to make money of all those dead-end links that host images. (Instead of just closing the image after seeing it, users could be tempted to click through to something profitable.) While they're at it, Twitter should buy TwitPic too.
While Facebook is pussy-footing around in virtual goods with its fake money, Twitter should be buying Ticketfly, a clever new startup selling real goods--concert tickets--using a little social networking mojo. Fresh off a $12m second round of funding, TicketFly could be one way for Twitter to help its users engage with each other in real life, instead of just following dudes like @aplusk, and it would fit with Twitter's whole live-as-it's-happening persona. Could also make money.
Rumors have surfaced that Groupon is buying the parent company of Whrrl
. This might leave Twitter wondering how much longer it's going to be fashionable for a major social platform to not
include a full service location-based service. Guys, just buy Scvngr
and see what the hell happens.
Atheros Communications, the wireless chipmaker, believes our houses will one day be utterly occupied by Internet-connected devices: as many as 100 per home
, says one company director. If Twitter evern contemplated hardware, Atheros Communications would be the acquisition for them. Why? Because it furthers Twitter's infrastructural aspirations. Twitter has already been used as plumbing for remote controlled Macs
, productivity apps like Evernote
, Remember the Milk
and even telephony tools like this Twilio API project (at left) called Twitio
. Act fast, Twitter; Atheros is already in the process of being swallowed up by Qualcomm.
Kiip is an ad platform that gives you free stuff for completing levels in your favorite smartphone games. People already Tweet their high scores in thousands of iOS and Android games; this would be an adjacent service game developers would love to get in the hands of Twitter's 200 million users. The real-world rewards you get (like this Full Action Mascara for you, the Duke Nukem 3D enthusiast) are redeemable in chain retail stores that Kiip has partnered with.
is a service that lets people swap contact info by bumping their phones together. Unlike Bump, the other app that does this, CardCloud doesn't need to be installed on the receiving phone to work. That makes it a realistic replacement for business cards -- add Twitter scale and you have a vital who's-who business rivaling LinkedIn's. (Sorry, Reid Hoffman.)
Acquiring SXSW star GroupMe
would be cool for the same reason as TicketFly: it would begin bring Twitter even more intwined with telephony service. The two are cousins from different centuries that desperately deserve uniting, and GroupMe could help make tweets social in a meaningful way--by pooling them in smaller groups of friends and family. Simpler SMS integration (and the already-popular GroupMe brand) would get more people using Twitter via SMS, a good stop-gap for recruiting the flip-phone crew and increasing usage. (Telco's love Twitter's SMS usage, too.)