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Android Headliner: Should Google Buy Twitter?

April 11, 2015 - Written By John Anon

Although this week’s android news saw the release of the twin Galaxy S6 devices, that was not really the biggest news of the week. The real zinger landed Tuesday. Although it has largely been dwarfed by the Galaxy news, this is only due to the zinger being currently in the ‘rumor’ stage. But what a rumor it is… Google buying Twitter. When first heard, the idea of one gigantic entity buying another, sounds almost mythical. One Titan buying another. But it is not quite as pie-in-the-sky as you may think. Google buying Twitter, is more than likely something the company (Google, that is) is seriously thinking about.

Yes, it will cost them a fortune. Twitter is currently estimated to be worth $33 Billion. Which likely means they won’t sell for that amount. After all, that is their worth if they wanted to sell today. But they don’t. Especially if you believe the add-on rumors suggesting Twitter had to employ the help of Goldman Sachs, to fend off Google’s advances. As such, from Twitter’s perspective, this is a seller’s market. So the figure would be much likely, much higher, than their estimation. Of course, this is Google, and Google can afford it. But buying Twitter comes with its additional problems. Twitter is not a car or a can of coke. One Titan does not simply buy another without a wealth of speculation, markets shaking and not to mention, the powers-that-be intent on scrutinizing Google. What are they doing? What do they plan to do? How will this affect competition? You only have to look back to Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp to see what will happen. And that was only WhatsApp. This is Twitter!

So the ATM trip by Google is only one factor of the Google/Twitter equation. Therefore, you might be wondering why they are so interested in buying Twitter. After all, this is (at least) the third time this same rumor has surfaced. Well, answering this is very easy. Twitter has achieved something Google has only dreamed of. A social userbase. In fact, Twitter has achieved one of the biggest social userbases in the world. And you can be sure that it is one userbase, Google salivates at the thought of getting hold of. You see, Google has tried (Orkut) and tried (Jaiku) and tried again (Buzz) to create a social based service and they have all failed, badly. In fact, Jaiku was a Twitter-like service which folded completely in 2012, after becoming redundant years before. However, even when the ‘three times a charm’ rule failed, Google did not give up, hold their head high and walk away. Instead, they came back with Google+. Granted, this has been their most successful attempt at a social paradigm so far. But given that the reports continue to emerge that Google+ just does not generate a decent userbase (comparatively speaking), being their “most successful attempt” is not much to take to the bank.

So, yes, in spite of Google having to deal with a number of issues that will inevitably come from such a big purchase, the sticky truth is Twitter has what Google wants. Will Google buy Twitter? Probably not. After all, this is (at least) the third time this rumor has being doing the rounds. Soon enough, persistent rumors just become a permanent rumor and those kinds of rumors never materialize. The question is though, should Google buy Twitter?