Close on the heels of Yahoo and LinkedIn acquisitions, the buzz is around another high profile buyout. The speculations are rife that Twitter – the micro-blogging site struggling to generate revenue and increase active members – may soon be acquired. This acquisition may decide the future path for Twitter, but the question is – Who will it be?
Twitter has been around for a decade now, but hasn’t been able to make money as a consumer product, so how possibly can it help benefit a corporate firm. For now, the company names doing the rounds are Salesforce, Google, Disney and even Microsoft. Let’s take a look at how these companies could benefit.
Salesforce was one of top names when it came to LinkedIn acquisition. Now, the company is in news again as one of the bidders for Twitter. To begin with, Salesforce offers customer service support, market research tools, email marketing systems and likewise products that use social media. It was quick to make $6 billion annual revenue, apparently compared to any other enterprise software company.
Vala Afshar of Salesforce said on Twitter how the acquisition makes sense for Salesforce considering pointers like – personal learning network, best realtime, context rich news, democratising intelligence and how it’s a place for promoting others. However, Afshar said this was his personal opinion and isn’t hinting at any talks of acquisition.
|Salesforce offers customer service support, market research tools, email marketing systems and likewise products that use social media.|
Meanwhile, the news about Salesforce being in talks with Twitter has led to the former’s shares take a dip. Though most of its customers are often interacting with service professionals through social media and could incorporate the data generated by Twitter in its software, there is no denying that the user growth has almost stalled.
Terry Tillman, analyst at Raymond James writes, “We implore management to not pursue a large dilutive acquisition such as this that could distract from maximizing what we see as a confluence of growth catalysts and mating and cash flow expansion opportunities.” Tillman further calls it a bad science experiment that may go all wrong.
Google (or rather Alphabet Inc) that turns 18 today has many a things to boast of, but not a social networking site. Yes, Orkut failed. Google Buzz failed. Then, Google Plus didn’t really help it bounce back to the social space. Now, Twitter would help it enter the social networking space again, as we wrote during the Microsoft-LinkedIn acquisition. Moreover, Twitter isn’t something that Google hasn’t tried its hand at. For instance, Google Buzz that fell flat on its face was Twitter clone. Google had also released Wave a real-time communications platform, which seemed ahead of its time back in 2009.
Google seems rather a better fit for Twitter. It could possibly even work independently as a bet. It would be beneficial to the search engine and also give Google’s AI some more power, while Google could support Twitter financially. The data can be better monetised if Twitter joins hands with Google.
Twitter and YouTube are also believed to be a great combination together by some. “The best synergy lies in uniting YouTube’s sporadic video content with Twitter’s constant chatter. A strong integration into YouTube could increase the frequency of return visits to the channels of content creators by offering a one-stop-shop for fandom, encompassing off-the-cuff tweets and polished videos,” writes Techcrunch.
As Google, that sits on a pile of cash, is anyway heavily investing in newer projects (Moonshot, Self-driving Cars, Healthcare), and Twitter could possibly be a better bet.
Disney jumping onto the acquisition bandwagon makes sense, considering the ESPN parent company has taken a full fledged jump into live streaming. With ABC and ABC News, its seems like a perfect place to promote, and engage people with news. However, it has a downside, as it will be owned by a single news platform, and its competitors might choose to opt for Facebook, who off late has been trying its best to become a real-time news source. On the other hand, the integration would have to be well planned so that it doesn’t hurt subscription to the traditional ESPN. And, it should be taken under consideration that Twitter has been struggling to monetise.
Post LinkedIn acquisition, Microsoft is also believed to be in the race to acquire Twitter. We aren’t really sure of how Microsoft could put the micro-blogging site to use, but there is speculation on integrating it with services like Skype and LinkedIn. The company has been working at cloud tech by integrating newer technologies. Twitter could possibly help with AI and probably implementing bots. Microsoft’s already has the Bing Translator integrated within Twitter, and let’s not forget its Twitter bot Tay.
None of these companies have confirmed to be talks with Twitter, which isn’t surprising. However, we wonder who would be willing to pay the company a asking price of $30 billion, especially considering Twitter is still looking for its purpose and has been struggling for a decade now. Moreover, a move from consumer product to business product will be a big, uncertain leap for Twitter.