Report: Google deal to buy Twitter in the works
The rumor mill is in full gear over speculation that Google may acquire Twitter. The news comes from two separate and unnamed sources that claim talks between Google and Twitter are in the late stages, according to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington.
However, Arrington says he has spoken to a third source that says talks are just in the early stages. Arrington says his third source claims the talks may only result in the two companies collaborating on a real-time search engine for Google. There's no word on how much a Google-Twitter deal could be worth, but most estimates put it in the $1 billion range with Google paying a mix of cash and stock.
[ In other aquisition news, IBM's deal for Sun is reportedly close to complete. | Stay ahead of advances in technology with InfoWorld's Ahead of the Curve blog and newsletter. ] "
I thought Google wasn't buying?
This latest rumor comes only a few weeks after Google CEO Erich Schmidt called Twitter a "poor man's e-mail system" at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco. During the conference, Schmidt said Google would wait for "prices to get better" before attempting any acquisitions. However, it was clear from his talk that Schmidt and Google had been putting a lot of thought into Twitter's future. Schmidt's Twitter musings included incorporating the service into traditional e-mail and for Twitter to evolve beyond what Schmidt called a "note phenomenon."
The reasons behind Twitter's Google-ification
Many believe a Google-Twitter deal makes sense since Twitter has the potential to take a bite out of Google's search business. Twitter Search does an excellent job of cataloguing real-time information from its users, and some have argued this ability threatens Google. However, at first glance that premise doesn't seem realistic to me. The idea that people would turn to Twitter as their primary source of information is preposterous. Yes, perhaps during real-time events Twitter might enjoy a surge of popularity. This scenario already played out earlier this year during the US Airways crash near Manhattan and last year's terror attacks in Bombay. Nevertheless, Twitter Search as it stands now is not the best way to find movie times, a stock price or even a Wikipedia page. But put Twitter in the hands of a Google rival like Microsoft or Yahoo and you have a potential game changer in the search business.
What Twoogle might look like
A Google-Twitter deal could be a win-win situation for both companies and the everyday user. Google's enormous computing power could put an end to the infamous "fail whale," and the search giant would be able to monetize Twitter with its advertising programs. For Google, as Computerworld's Seth Weintraub points out, Twitter could help create "a better pool of data from which to pool [Google News] stories and gauge their popularity. It could also help Google's lagging social networking site, Orkut, by establishing connections between Google users."
PC World is an InfoWorld affiliate.
Other news for today
|Longjump puts SaaS inside IT shops.|
Platform-as-a-service provider Longjump announced this week that its on-demand Business Applications Platform can now be licensed and used within a customer's four walls."Now we are...
|IBM, Mayo form open source health IT consortium.|
Biomedical informatics researchers at IBM and the Mayo Clinic have launched a new open source consortium focused on natural language processing (NLP), in an effort to help doctors share diagnosis...
|Dell frees latest Vostro laptops of bloatware.|
Dell on Thursday introduced small-business laptops that will be free of bloatware, which could help improve system performance and protect storage space.The Vostro laptops will be preloaded only...
|iTKO touts Web 2.0, virtualization in test product.|
iTKO on Thursday is offering an upgrade to its Lisa product for services testing, validation and governance, touting capabilities for Web 2.0 applications and virtualization.Geared to architectures...
|IBM continues push for Sun, but will the deal kill Solaris?.|
The high-stakes, but still under-the covers battle by IBM to take over Sun Microsystems is still in play, but IBM may be rethinking what it is willing to pay for the enterprise vendor.The Wall...
|Central Desktop delivers Outlook plug-in.|
Central Desktop has enhanced its eponymous Web-hosted collaboration suite with a plug-in for Outlook that the company believes increases its viability as a SharePoint alternative.Microsoft Outlook...
|Adobe, Nokia outline planned ventures at Web 2.0 show.|
Officials from Adobe Systems and Nokia emphasized endeavors in the application design and form factor spaces in presentations at the Web 2.0 Expo conference Thursday in San Francisco.Touting...