Apple has held talks with Twitter, and is thinking about investing hundreds of millions in the social network, according to the New York Times.
The discussions took place "in recent months", according to the paper, though the two companies aren't holding talks at the moment. But with Apple giving Twitter greater prominence in iOS 5 and OS X Mountain Lion -- as well as going -- it looks like Cupertino could well be about to start taking social networking seriously.
It's no great revelation that Apple has lagged behind in the world of social media. According to the "people briefed on the matter", Apple's considered investment of hundreds of millions could see Twitter valued at $10bn, up from $8.4bn last year.
Google and Facebook are gaining ground in the battle for social, so Apple could well be looking to see off competition from them both. Apple's efforts to get into bed with Facebook have been more drunken hollering than smooth wooing -- it tried to integrate Facebook into iTunes via Ping, without asking Zuckerberg, so that soon fell apart. Microsoft also owns part of Facebook, which could well turn Apple off. And as for Google… well I.
Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, recently said Apple didn't need to own a social network. "But does Apple need to be social?" he asked. "Yes," he answered.
Apple certainly isn't short of a bob or two, with $117bn in the bank. It usually buys innovative start-ups, and integrates their breakthroughs into its own apps. Though as an alignment, and a chance to learn more about an area in which Apple has been sorely lacking, investing in Twitter would make a lot of sense.
Would you like to see Apple and Twitter work together? Let me know what you think they could come up with in the comments, or on our Facebook page.