Twitter Hires Former Apple Employee to Head up AR & VR

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Twitter's latest hire might be a bit of a surprise to many people. The company picked up former Apple employee, Alessandro Sabatelli, who is now their director of AR and VR. This hints at the fact that Twitter is about to join the companies that are in augmented and virtual reality already. Both augmented and virtual reality appear to be the "next big thing" in the world of technology. Twitter is a bit behind in the AR and VR space right now, especially where Facebook has Oculus under their wing after purchasing them in 2014 for around $2 billion. Snapchat is also exploring AR right now, and of course Google has a slew of VR products under their wing with the latest being Daydream announced at Google I/O. Not to mention YouTube supports 360-degree videos.

Sabatelli's LinkedIn page lists his work at Apple, which included being a user-interface designer for iOS, OS X (this has been renamed to 'macOS' since Sabatelli left the company) and watchOS. Sabatelli left Apple in January of 2015, and headed over to VMNetworks and IXOMOXI, where he worked for 8 months and 6 months respectively. The most interesting company on his resume is IXOMOXI, because they are targeting millennials at music festivals with augmented and virtual reality. That's likely the experience that Twitter looked at before hiring him for this new position.

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Twitter has been behind the curve on a few products as of late. Including #Stickers which they just announced earlier this week. Stickers is something that many other social networks already have – and actually make money off of – including Facebook, Snapchat, Path and many others. Social media platforms see VR as the next step for users consuming content from their sites, in fact Facebook is already working on a Facebook app that can be used inside Oculus Rift. Imagine being able to scroll through your news feed without having to touch a display at all. That's the future we'll be living in.

While Sabatelli became head of AR and VR at Twitter this month, it'll likely be a while before we see what he's actually up to at Twitter. As things like this take some time to be developed, tested and then become public. Just like with apps and app updates.