Twitter may be mulling a purchase of Flipboard, a social aggregation app that lets users organize articles about the subjects that interest them into their own “digital magazine,” Re/code reports. The possible acquisition would be an all-stock deal that would value Flipboard at more than $1 billion.
Flipboard was co-founded in 2010 by Mike McCue and Evan Doll. Prior to Flipboard, software engineer Doll worked on the iPhone at Apple and Silicon Valley fixture McCue sold his voice recognition tech startup TellMe Networks to Microsoft for more than $800 million and was a General Manager there.
While the discussions are reportedly at a standstill for now, there is a question of what both company’s would stand to gain from the rumored deal.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been scrutinized of late thanks to a series of staff shakeups, a lower than estimated first quarter revenue report (and subsequent drop in stock) slow growth and the company’s handling of cyberbullying.
As of last year, Flipboard had about 100 million active users, but like Twitter, has also seen a slowing of user growth. However, In January, the company rolled out a new ad feature called Promoted Items, so a Twitter partnership could help them bolster their branded content.
CEO McCue sat on Twitter’s board of directors, but he left that role in 2012. The Flipboard buy could be a way for Twitter to bring him back into the fold in a leadership position, perhaps as a possible successor to Costolo, while simultaneously shoring up the company’s product design – or potentially utilizing Flipboard’s publisher relationships to help power an initiative like Facebook’s recently launched Instant Articles.
Twitter and Flipboard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.