Twitter Makes First Hardware Investment, Partners with Muzik For Headphones to Compete With Beats

twitter-muzikTwitter is not shy about acquiring other digital companies to improve its functionality on the web. Obviously, the original Twitter mobile app was designed to be more of a personal update and sharing network (instead of an all-hands-on-deck social media service) but the mechanics have evolved greatly over time. Not only has Twitter increased the character limit (several times) but now photos and videos can also be shared, though the video lengths are short.

Then Twitter acquired the video-sharing application Vine, which lets users record and post extremely short videos to capture and share moments in their life. It has helped to shape the foundation of social media as we know it today. Similarly, Twitter has also acquired the video-sharing app known as Periscope.

But Twitter has recently announced its first-ever hardware investment. The company says they are investing in a connected headphones startup project from newly-formed manufacturer Muzik. This company is categorically defined by a fusion of smart set-up and social media integration.
Yes, in a pair of headphones.

The idea is to release a high-end set of network-connected over-the-ear headphones, in May, which will compete with Dre’s (and Apple Inc’s) Beats line. The wireless, touch controls of the new Muzik Convertible headphone allows users to not only listen but also share audio content to social media sites.

Four hot keys serve to simplify the user interface, with the volume buttons on the north and south of the headset and track skip on the east and west. These are the default buttons, though, so you can also customize the headset to suit your needs. For example you can assign one key for sharing to Facebook and another to Twitter or you you can use the headphones like a phone headset and assign one key as a speed dial.

But Twitter’s substantial investment (while undisclosed, the total investment Muzik has received so far is $18 million) will ensure that “tweeting” is one of the features available on the $299 audio device. This does not, however, give Twitter exclusivity over social media integration as Muzik has, at least thus far, noted that users can also share audio to Facebook too.

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