Apple has been on a social networking kick lately, what with Twitter's footings in iOS 5 and OS X Mountain Lion as well as Facebook's upcoming presence in iOS 6. From what the New York Times hears, that fascination could become more of a fixation. The company has reportedly chatted with Twitter in past months about the possibility of investing money on the scale you'd normally expect from a later-stage venture capitalist: the newspaper is talking "hundreds of millions" of dollars based on Twitter being valued at more than $10 billion. Any such deal would be less about funding (Twitter purportedly has $600 million-plus in the bank) and more about getting cozy in a social world where Apple still has some learning to do. Apple might equally want to dissuade competitors from getting any ideas, we'd add. Neither side will comment, and the negotiations aren't even supposed to be active at present. Regardless, that Apple might have even toyed with a social networking investment could represent a major change in tack for a company that's not always known for playing well with others.