Twitter, the micro-blogging site that allows users to post updates in 140 characters or less, has garnered a ton of attention lately due to rumors of acquisition talks by the search giant Google. With it’s impressive user base and over 8 million visits per month, Twitter has some serious bargaining chips, especially when it comes to real-time search. This may be where Google has interest in Twitter, due to the potential real-time search tools Twitter offers and what this could mean to the future of search. Basically, indexing the feed of updates would allow engines like Google to tap into the collective conscious of Twitter users, and therefor a microcosm of the web’s user base, with instant results. Although all the talk has been speculation, and it’s been downplayed by Twitter to just a conversation about products and search, the service is certainly on the block.
Twitter by Google?
On April 2nd, TechCrunch started so much as a frenzy by posting the Google buying Twitter rumor after receiving confirmation from various “inside sources” that the two companies where at the late stages of acquisition talks. Numbers were thrown around, some exceeding the last bid for Twitter from Facebook that topped $500 million. Michael Arrington, owner of TechCrunch, speculated along wih others that the real value in Twitter was the search potential it offered and the brand monitoring applications. Simply put, users tweet about products, services, and more, and companies want to know about that. Real-time reaction to brands and products would provide a window into consumers that could enable massive testing and marketing advantages. After several updates, Arrington basically recanted his original post because of official responses from Twitter founders Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, saying they were just product talks. However, if Google where to eventually sell to Google, this wouldn’t be the first time for Stone and Williams, having sold Blogger to Google five years ago.
Regardless of where Twitter ends up, it’s become a very popular tool for marketing, communication and self-indulgence. It’s popularity has spilled past the small group of faithful loyalists to the general public, where even celebrities tweet about their daily lives. If Google where to acquire Twitter, there would be some serious implications regarding a search monopoly that others like Microsoft would want to point out. Williams stated recently that he wouldn’t sell the company even for $1 billion, but who knows how long they can hold out when money comes knocking. For now, it’s interesting to see the sharks circle and the rumors fly. More information on this story can be found over at Search Engine Land.