Twitter Inc. Needs to Stop Trying to Be Facebook

A recent deal suggests bigger, broader, and perhaps unsustainable ambitions for the microblogger.

Tim Beyers
Tim Beyers
Apr 22, 2014 at 11:30AM
Technology and Telecom

Twitter has acquired Cover to further its Android opportunity. Credit: Cover.

In acquiring Cover, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) may be trying to become more like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). In the following video, Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains why that might be a mistake.

Of course, Cover isn't complaining. In a statement at the website, the company's founders say Twitter shares their belief in "the amazing power of Android." Perhaps that's true. Yet the software -- which allows for customizing the lock screen of any Android smartphone -- looks an awful lot like Facebook Home.

Tim says the deal comes as Twitter is trying harder to appeal to advertisers that tend to gravitate to Facebook first. Executives plan to test upwards of 15 new formats this summer. Twitter is also adding messaging to Vine and purchasing Gnip. In each case, executives seem determined to assemble a comprehensive platform that's much more than a microblog.

Facebook, meanwhile, is making big-money bets on the likes of Oculus and WhatsApp to move well beyond its roots as a pure-play social network. We've no way of knowing whether these bets will pay off. All we can say for sure is that there's a race on. It'll take several years -- and probably more than a few crashes -- before we get to declare a winner.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like Twitter's deal to acquire Cover?  Do you see the microblogger becoming more like Facebook? Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Twitter stock at current prices.