Facebook and Yahoo aren’t the only two companies buying startups in the hopes of increasing their mobile presence. Cover, the maker of a custom Android lock screen app under the same name, announced on Monday that it has been acquired by Twitter.
Cover, if you’re unfamiliar with the service, provides Android users with a contextual lock screen that can changed based on the time or location. If you’re driving, for example, your lock screen might be populated with traffic and navigation apps. At night, it might serve up apps for watching movies or keeping track of sports scores. Contextual knowledge is valuable — it can let a company know when people are more likely going to be doing one activity over another. As social networks fight for eyeballs, Twitter sees an opportunity here. The software development company said the Android app will remain in the Google Play Store for now.
“[Twitter] share[s] our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen,” the software development company said in a blog post Monday. “We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.” The company said it’s possible the app will eventually be pulled, but that it will let users know if that happens down the road.
For now, we can only speculate why Twitter might want the Android software development company, Cover. Our guess is that it will be able to use the team’s expertise to provide contextual information depending on where or when a Twitter user is accessing the service. That could be particularly valuable to advertisers. Or, Twitter might just want to bolster its existing mobile applications, and the Cover team could help it do just that.