Micro-blogging site for sale, looking for good social media home

ImageWord on the street, or should I say online, is of the possible sale of Twitter. Surprising, right? Especially considering its increasing popularity, with stats of 3 000 tweets per second during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 4 064 tweets per second during last week’s Super Bowl, and an overall record of 6 939 tweets per second as the clock struck midnight in Japan last New Year, not to mention its more and more prominent use as an important news source and communication tool for the media and even politicians.

Nevertheless, the news comes from the Wall Street Journal, which explains that even though Twitter made $45-million in revenue thanks, in large part, to Promoted Trends and Tweets, the micro-blogging site lost money this year due to hiring and buying data centres.

However, despite not being profitable, Twitter is still valued at between $8-billion and $10-billion – so who exactly would be interested in forking out this sum of money? Rumour has it that both Facebook and Google are in talks about a possible acquisition.

According to TechCrunch, acquiring Twitter “would not fit at all with Facebook’s acquisition strategy, which has up until now mostly focused on talent collection versus product.” Not to mention that, valued at $50-billion, the social network would have to put up 20% of its own value to buy the micro-blogging site. However, Google is potentially sitting in a better position with a value of $35-billion to spend, as well as the idea of “bulking up its social layer full force” – what better way to do that acquire an already established and popular site? Especially after Google Buzz wasn’t quite as successful as the company had hoped.

Of course, with all this said, the Wall Street Journal article ends by saying that the talks are “low-level” and the enquiries are “latent interest”, with discussions having “so far gone nowhere”. So maybe this is all just hot air. Would be interesting should the acquisition go either way, though – can you imagine how powerful Facebook would be if it could add Twitter to its services (already two-thirds of the way to forming ‘YouTwitFace’ http://www.youtwitface.com/) or alternatively how Google would be able to up its competition against Facebook with an added social boost? Will be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

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