Posted December 3, 2008 2:47 pm by with 12 comments

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By Taylor Pratt

Why did Twitter turn down Facebook? For the last month, talks between the two social giants had been going on. Facebook ultimately made an offer of $500 million (in mostly stock options) to purchase Twitter. Seems like a fair offer considering Twitter has failed to monetize its microblogging platform. According to Twitter CEO Evan Williams, however, the deal didn’t make sense.

We explored it, as we should. We took it seriously. It definitely made sense—the strategy we talked about with them—but it wasn’t the right time.

According to the New York Times, he still believes Twitter has too much left to do. Figuring out how to make money is the first priority.

Twitter has over 6 million users, despite its ups and downs, but has only been able to raise capital thus far. Originally, Twitter planned on putting off revenues until 2010, but since Evan Williams became CEO back in October—plans have changed.

We’re looking at Q1 revenues. The original plan was to focus on revenues in 2010. That’s no longer the case, since I don’t want to raise money in 2009.

And forget raising money only through ads and sponsorships. According to CNET, Twitter wants revenues that are product-based. 

Williams said, “Google built something that can really scale, and that’s our intention as well.”

Williams also revealed plans for expansion. He says that the top feature requested on Twitter is grouping. By “grouping” he means the ability to segment your Twitter friends into sub-networks that you’ll be able to send specific tweets to.

2009 will most certainly be an interesting year for Twitter.

Taylor Pratt is a Search Marketing Specialist at nFusion, a results focused marketing agency.

  • I don’t blame them for resisting Facebook’s offer. Stock options wouldn’t be enough for me either. Well, okay, maybe $500 million, but still, if I had already gained 6 million followers and had some thoughts about how to monetize, I would see my dream in terms of “the sky is the limit.” Selling now would be premature. And… I’d love to see groups as well!

    Brandon’s last blog post..Marketing Yourself Honestly


    I agree–I think it’s a little too early in the process for Twitter to start thinking about mobilization with the giant Facebook. With a 600% increase in users over last year, I think they definitely have all sorts of potential in the near future. I think it’s wise to move forward with the company’s own ideas and innovation before thinking about any sort of other offers.

  • Twitter made the right choice by not going along with the Facebook. Facebook can’t even monetize their own site properly..Twitter is better on their own…i hope @ev’s plans works out.

    Saad Kamal’s last blog post..Google Marketer’s Playbook Videos

  • Yeah I think staying away from Facebook for now at least was a good move, the offer will no doubt get bigger with time

  • If they don’t figure out a way to monetize itself the offer may not get bigger. Kindof like what happened with Yahoo. They had a chance to make out big, but in the end they aren’t getting anything. I think they can resist the offer for a little while, but I wouldn’t put it on the back burner totally.

  • “Revenues that are product based” means charging corporations for Twitter accounts (ie. @Zappos @GECapital @NYTimes @andybeal. But it could get dicey: what is the definition of a product?

  • PS3

    Whichever way you dress it up $500 million is a staggering amount of money. Twitter must be confident going forward to resist that.

  • Twitter now they can do much better for future that’s why.

  • I think they should have taken the deal. I dont know but I think their value is going to slowly drop over the next year or so. $500 million is quite a lot to turn down

    Matt Helphrey’s last blog post..A Little Article Marketing Research

  • Just like matt, I too feel that they should have taken the deal, I just don’t believe they’ll see an offer like that again… Their value is going to slowly fall and they might end up regreting turning it down.. But then again, maybe the “Twits” will surprise us all

  • It’s indeed very narrow-minded to think Twitter should have accepted this deal. Twitter is on a roll, and they have no place to go but up. As one other post above said, Facebook can’t even monetize their own product, what do they expect to do with Twitter. I think Facebook sees a serious threat from Twitter and that is their current motivation.

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