Twitter In Talks to Acquire Flipboard

Twitter is rumored to be in talks to acquire digital publishing platform Flipboard according to Re/code, which first reported the news, citing a number of unnamed sources familiar with the situation. These sources tell Re/code the deal would be a purely stock transaction valuing Flipboard at over $1 billion -- but add that the negotiations appear to have reached an impasse for some reason (my guess: it has something to do with money).

It isn’t hard to imagine some potential synergies between Twitter and Flipboard, which both traffic in third-party content delivered in formats tailored to the user’s individual interests and preferences. Specifically, Flipboard could serve as a kind of expanded, curated Twitter channel, for example by displaying linked content from tweets in graphic tiles with text teasers, leading to the full articles in similar easy-to-read format.

In essence an integration between Twitter and Flipbaord could turn your Twitter feed into a personalized magazine, and would also give Twitter a new content discovery function to deepen user engagement, potentially replacing its own defunct “Discovery” tab. It could also become a rival service to Facebook’s “Instant Articles,” delivered through partnerships with publishers. Last but not least Twitter could also deliver ads in new formats enabled by Flipboard, which recently introduced “promoted items,” among other new products.

However it’s not clear how much Flipboard would help boost Twitter’s total user base and engagement -- the two key areas where it has come under criticism from investors, concerned about slowing growth levels and time spent with the microblogging platform. On that note Flipboard claims to have about 100 million total registered users, but doesn’t share data on monthly active users.

Twitter is aggressively pushing its content through new channels. Last week it unveiled a new partnership with Google, allowing U.S. users to see relevant tweets in Google search results within the Google app and on the mobile Web. A similar integration for desktop search results is coming soon.

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