Reports say the search giant may be on the verge of acquiring the micro-blogging service – with a view to getting revenue from tweet searches
Google is about to buy the fashionable micro-blogging service Twitter, according to rumours that surfaced on the TechCrunch blog.
The site claims three separate sources for the story, and suggests a price considerably higher than the $250 million valuation put on Twitter at its last finance round. Google’s motivation would be the revenue it could generate by placing adverts against searches of the stream of “tweets” produced by Twitter users.
“We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search,” said Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. “It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.”
It is possible the rumour may have been sparked by Twitter’s expansion into search, more than by any actual negotation. The site has a search feature that can turn up trends and results in real time from tweets. This perceived competition with Google, noted by Arrington and others, may have sparked a response from Google, or simply a perception that one is likely.
The giant public database of tweets held by Twitter is a major asset, and could be mined by businesses wanting to track the perception of their brand. The twitter service itself is also showing signs of gaining business features including Twitter directories such as Twibs, self-styled Twitter Yellow Pages Twellow.
Google founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams have already sold Blogger to Google, and TechCrunch guesses that any deal would involve a straight cash or stock transaction.
However, the purchase, if it happens, would be early, since Twitter has yet to make any money, and is still on a rising curve of media excitement, said Sam Diaz at ZDNet: “As much as an acquisition like this might make sense in some respects, the timing is wrong.
Last year, Twitter reportedly rejected an offer of $500 million, mostly in stock, from Facebook.