Facebook is racing into virtual reality with Oculus Rift and even Snapchat has its pulse on the market, but, until now, Twitter has been pretty quiet when it comes to VR. Now the company may finally be ready to compete with some help from a former Apple designer.
Alessandro Sabatelli joined Twitter earlier in June as Director of AR & VR, according to his LinkedIn profile (spotted by UploadVR). His job description says he’ll focus on “empowering us all in the spatial computing revolution.” That’s pretty vague, but it sounds like Twitter is finally ready to dive into VR.
Sabatelli worked at Apple for more than eight years, focusing on user interface design for iOS, OS X (now macOS) and watchOS. He helped design the iTunes visualizer, Siri for iOS and served as “Animation Lead” for the major redesign that was iOS 7. After leaving Cupertino in 2015, he briefly served as CEO of a company called IXOMOXI that focused on combining music with virtual and augmented reality.
It’s unclear exactly what Twitter’s take on VR or AR will look like. It could be as simple as 360-degree live streaming Periscope videos. The company’s recent purchase of video compression firm Magic Pony might play a big role as well. It’s also possible Twitter could surprise us with something totally new and unexpected.