Posted March 9, 2009 8:04 am by with 44 comments

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During Charlie Rose’s interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the topic of future acquisitions comes-up. Of course, many of us expect Google to acquire Twitter. Schmidt explains:

I shouldn’t talk about specific acquisitions. We’re unlikely to buy anything in the short term partly because I think prices are still high. And it’s unfortunate I think we’re in the middle of a cycle. Google is generating a lot of cash. And so we keep that cash in extremely secure banks.

So there you have it! Google will acquire Twitter!

I know, I know, Schmidt didn’t actually say that, but since when does Google ever clearly express its intentions? "No intention," "unlikely," and "no plans" are all standard issue for Google’s executives and time after time the search engine proves that it plays word-games with the media.

As Mark Evans explains, there are plenty of good reasons for Google to acquire Twitter–the top reason is Google’s ability to place AdSense ads in your Twitter stream–but there’s an even bigger reason why Google should, nay must, acquire Twitter.

Twitter is becoming an important communications channel–intrinsic to the web. Aside from the being able to pick up the company for a fraction of the $15 billion Google has in cash, Twitter is a key component of the search engines’ ambitious goal: to organize the world’s information.

Don’t believe Google’s slight-of-hand talk about the timing not being right. The timing is perfect! While other companies pull back on spending–causing Twitter’s valuation to drop due to lack of interest–Google can fly in under the radar and pick up perhaps the most important internet start-up since Facebook.

  • Twitter will be come the new news search engine.
    Google is/was trying to push their search engines to where users can rank.

    Twitter users tweet the latest news from today’s current events or from the past. I have been seeing a lot of users post an article that are 1-2 years old but it’s still good information.

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  • Can’t we all start a fund to ensure that Google *doesn’t* buy Twitter? Because once they do they’re just going to strangle the life out of it. Personally, I’d rather not lose the investment I’ve made in Twitter just because Google realized it was stealing their search share.

    Lisa Barone’s last blog post..By: Personal Branding: SEO Blogging as the American Dream | SEOptimise

  • I wonder if Schmidt is assuming Christine Varney does not watch Charlie Rose?

  • @Lisa – sorry, but I’ll have to disagree. Twitter is the one that’s struggling to capitalize on the “life” that Twitter has now. I’d much rather see Google’s investment and support to ensure the growth of the service. πŸ™‚

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  • Andy: Oh no you didn’t! πŸ˜‰

    I don’t think Twitter is at all struggling, or at least not more than it should be at this point. Its thriving. It’s the site people can’t stop talking about. It’s all over TechMeme. John Stewart is explaining to the masses how to use it. The celebs are circling. Marketers are in heaven. People are tweeting like crazy. And we’re getting ready to maybe see this illusive monetization model.

    Google has no idea what to do with Twitter. Eric Schmidt doesn’t even get what Twitter and it’s “160 character limit” is about. It took Google up until last week to even get involved. All they know is that it’s stealing searches in the same way that YouTube did and that’s why Google wants it. For the search share. And that philosophy doesn’t seem to have benefited YouTube too much. They still haven’t found their monetization model.

    I don’t trust Twitter in the hands of Google. They’re likely to break it.

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  • lol “So there you have it!” I, too, see tea leaves lining up and they all point to Twitter being acquired by Google in 45 days or so. If my tea leaves are correct.

  • @Lisa – now I’ve gone and done it–started a debate with The Lisa.

    Let me ask you this. Do you think YouTube is better off now that it is owned by Google?

    @Jack – wow, that’s some strong tea you’re drinking! πŸ™‚ I’m not sure about 45 days, but perhaps by the end of the year.

  • [These spam math questions are getting easier. w00t!]

    Andy, I think it’s an entirely different site now that it’s in Google’s hands. Well, not that the site is much different, but it’s definitely gone a different course than if it were to still be in the hands of its original creators. Is it better? I don’t know that it is. If they went to Google hoping for a monetization model, they sure has hell haven’t gotten one yet. I think Google tries to convince sites like YouTube and Twitter that Google can help grow them and take them in like little puppies. When in reality, all Google is doing is protecting itself. I think we’d all be doing a lot better if Google would stop putting its hands all over everything.

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  • @Lisa – OK, but if Google hadn’t bought YouTube, then likely it still wouldn’t have a revenue model and may have struggled. At least with Google’s backing it has grown and developed–so the revenue isn’t as urgent.

    I believe the same will happen to Twitter. How do you monetize it without annoying its users? The answer? You don’t even try, just sell to Google and let them worry about it. πŸ˜‰

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  • I think you’re totally right.

    Even contextual ads based on the text of recent twitter messages would probably work ok.

    Also, if they turn it into an opensocial container, then they are right back into the social networking game they otherwise largely missed. However, I almost think they should wait even longer to acquire Twitter because of their history of killing apps during the transition to Google’s stack.

  • Google wont acquire Twitter every. They already have Jaiku and im sure they are going to develop that first!!

    Steven Finch’s last blog Money Making Tips Sites Thats Actually Worth Reading

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  • Oh, are you surprised? they acquired youtube and now they will go for twitter, It’s so weird they didn’t try to acquire facebook and myspace.
    Great blog, love it!

  • I think a problem that Google will have is with the Antitrust laws.
    Twitter will and/or maybe considered a ‘search engine’, and Federal regulators will ban any future sales or mergers.

    Robert Enriquez’s last blog post..Charlotte SEO

  • EXACTLY. Google is target number one in AntiTrust eyes and Twitter has been in the news enough to make them a high profile aquisition for Google, especially with the extensive rollout of Twitter Search.

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  • Anything is possible but Mr. Williams did sell his Blogger to Twitter so there is already a connection and business done in their past. It also kinda makes sense that they would a) want to acquire it and b) play it down if they were… Who knows but VC’s will only feed a company that isn’t earning anything for so long before it becomes profitable or gets bought out by some behemoth ala facebook style.

    Who knows but it’s definitely quite possible.

  • Ian

    Yes!! This would be awesome. Google pwns at search; it also pwns at archiving stuff. I love being able to pull up just about everything in my Google history. Grand Central -> archive my phone calls. GDrive -> archive my files. Twitter -> archive tweets. You win, game over, life is pure win. <3

    This. Would. ROCK

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  • This will be a sad day if G acquires Twitter.

    They’d probably try some GTalk or Android integration which would frak everything up and I will end up using plurk or other second tier service.

    Just say no.

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  • it would make sense and it would make even more sense if Twitter started integrating google adsense in their stream to see what happens…

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  • Will Google acquire Twitter? I’m not too certain of that. Google is under close scrutiny by the new Administration. If the Yahoo! deal went through, I think there would have been some major problems for Google moving forward. There are people in the Administration who do not feel comfortable with Google’s monopoly on search. Acquiring the Twitter network would surely put them smack dab in the middle of something I’m not too certain they want to deal with.

    If Google do acquire Twitter, they BETTER maintain the same business philosophies or the Herd will move very quick. All it takes is one wrong change and people will leave by the millions. Ask Facebook. πŸ™‚

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  • Not Impressed

    How many users of Twitter are actually in a mode to buy a product or service? The buzz about Twitter is ridiculously deafening. I think the potential for Twitter is much the same as other much-hyped social media.

    Until social media connects user activity to actually buying stuff – it’s a lot of wheel spinning. No opportunity here. Just my 2c (which ironically would be the eCPC on a Twitter/ AdSense business model!)

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  • I wonder if Plurk will ever compete with Twitter. Right now i think microblogging is a waste of time.
    Maybe soon when Google decides to buy them ill have second thoughts.

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  • Will Microsoft overpay to acquire Twitter to prevent Google from getting it?


  • Great. Already hearing bad news, now this?

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  • Two things, no three:

    1) Google and Twitter should work together to put Google AdSense to it’s users pages on themselves – the savvier people get on the Twitter the less of the native web interface a user uses. Most are on handsets using SMS, or some other Twitter mobile app — or — on their desktops/laptops using TwitterFox, TweetDeck, and Twhirl.

    2) If Twitter wants to make money – it’s going to be about selling info or making statistical info available to companies that want to know what people are saying “right now” – For example: Networks must watch Twitter as their users comment on Ugly Betty or Dancing w/ Who the Eff Cares. The real-time public gauges what’s hot and what’s not; companies MUST listen -or die (or FAIL or whatever they call it anymore).

    3) If Twitter is to sell themselves to anyone it should be Amazon. Google would be a lazy dog to buy Twitter; frankly they can build a better app. The most mutually beneficial relationship between a Twitter buy-out would be between Amazon’s huge product base and Twitter’s HUGE user base.

    Shameless plug: follow me on Twitter.

  • jai

    hoping google buys twitter and takes it to the next level..

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  • Google will easily monetize the signup, follow process, and search results. Adsense will be a mechanism for getting getting more followers, and the # of followers will become a currency. New terminology will describe all the metrics of this.

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  • In other news, Steve Ballmer has announced that he “occasionally enjoys delicious pie”, clearly indicating that Microsoft intend to acquire in the second quarter of 2009. Wow, this journalism stuff is easy!

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  • news that are hot, we can only wait for further news if google will buy twitter

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  • I believe Google will try everything within their power to buy Twitter because if it is interfering with it’s shares and it’s earnings, what better to do than buy out the company. Although I believe Twitter is a great service and would be a top competitor with Google, every company has it’s double thoughts as well and anything is possible. It is really all up to Twitter to see if they can sustain the pressure of being bought out by Google like how Google bought Myspace and I think Feedburner.

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