Monday, July 30, 2012

Does Apple Need To Own A Social Network?

Some public speculation that Apple is considering a major investment in social networking site, Twitter, as a means to extend itself in this space.  Perhaps also to compete as much with Google who chose to build their own social site, Google Plus.  But is this the best investment choice for Apple?  "Apple and Twitter are logical partners in some ways. Unlike Facebook or Google, Twitter has no plans to compete with Apple in the phone business or elsewhere. And as Apple has found, social is just not in its DNA."  Still I wonder if there is  a profitable long term future in social networking?

Ask Facebook that question and the stock price today says no.  Trading below its IPO, Facebook is yet a runaway financial success.  Twitter is only as successful as the ads that  run on it; but those ads, like the ones on Facebook's timeline have started to become intrusive and unwanted.  And should Twitter fall out of favor, there are other sites eager to take a lead.   A financial investment in Twitter may be a defensive move, but Apple's success has been in being an innovative company.

Where I would like to see more investment is in products that improve and differentiate the security of their products.  And in products that enable more e-commerce and wallet applications.  For me, that could mean investments in PayPal and Square.  These companies and others are changing our purchase behaviors and improving the ease in which we transact business.  Apple's push to better security over our devices will also be an important differentiator.  And lastly, the battery that runs our devices and the quantum leap that is still needed to allow these products to run for much longer periods without a recharge, is to me a very valuable investment.

Twitter and Facebook and other social network apps should be enabled to easily integrate with other programs - photos, music, videos, etc.  That can happen regardless of a deep financial investment.  That Apple products remain a deeply integrated part of our lives, in our communication among family members as well as with our social circles, and the must have device from when we wake up to when we fall asleep remains the top priority.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thing is that both Microsoft and Google have VOIP in their portfolio (Google Voice, Skype) which also have messaging functionality, including SMS.