According to the report, Twitter is in talk with some companies about a possible bid to take over the company. The names most prominent with the take over bid are Google, now doing business under the name of Alphabet and Salesforce, a loud computing company founded in 1999 and based in San Francisco.
I can understand Google trying to take over a company like Twitter. At least with Twitter under its belt, Google can have a good platform to take another crack at the social media niche. Google tried to get a foothold in social media with services like Google+, but so far their efforts have proved unsuccessful.
In the case of Salesforce, I am left scratching my head how a service like Twitter can add value to the work of one of the best cloud computing companies in the world. Perhaps they just want to acquire and make it part of their portfolio, but separate from their core business.
Even though Twitter as company had flatlined in terms of new users signing up and profit in the last couple of years, the over 300 million accounts on the service is still a prize asset to have.
For any serious company, having the details of 300 million people is a huge marketing opportunity.
For now, there is no concrete news emanating from any of the parties involved. However, indications are that talks have really gone far. People who have knowledge of what is going on believe a deal is likely to happen.
And Wall Street (American stock market) seem to think there is some teeth to this news. That is why Twitter shares rose by as high as 23%. No matter how much of a sceptic I am, that reaction from the stock exchange indicates that something is really going on.
Last month, the co-founder of Twitter and a member of the board gave an interview in which he said the company would listen to reasonable offers that came their way concerning a sale.
In hindsight, it seems Ev Williams (co-founder of Twitter) knew a thing or two and was just being cryptic. Basically, saying just enough to make people interested in Twitter shares and not too much to jeopardize any on-going talks.
Since Jack Dorsey was made permanent CEO of Twitter last year, the expected turn around of the company has not really come to pass.
Dorsey and his team have tried several revamps and added new features to the service, all to no avail. One of the things Dorsey would have seen as a challenge is the number of tweets posted daily by users.
The number of tweets has gone so low that even Snapchat users now posts more videos daily than Twitter users post tweets daily. To put this in perspective, in August 2014, the number of daily tweets by Twitter users was as high as 661million tweets. While as of January this year, that number is now down to 300 million daily.
This is clearly a worrying sign and points to several things:
- users don’t see Twitter as the place to be at again
- the low number of tweets indicates that users spend less time on Twitter than before
- and finally, the low number of tweets is a symptom of the much bigger issue: Twitter is no longer attracting new users.
If the sale finally goes through, the new owners of Twitter, whoever they might be, have their job really cut out to make Twitter the formidable force it once was.
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