Twitter recently turned down a $500M offer from Facebook. Others are suggesting that Google or Yahoo! should buy Twitter, much like Google did with YouTube. Essentially, it’s common knowledge that Google couldn’t afford not to buy YouTube due to the sheer volume of search data and meta data that YouTube controlled.
I’ve been reading all of these articles about what Twitter should do and who should buy them and such, and I got to thinking that, really, Twitter shouldn’t sell to anyone. They’re in command of a huge amount of user meta data, trends and brand information – information that Google or other brands would kill to get their hands on.
Think about it – people searching for news, brands searching for real user experiences – that’s valuable information. Brands are going to need tools to make sense of all of these information streams, tools that Twitter isn’t providing yet.
It’s not that being a database of what’s being said at any one time that’s unique and interesting enough for all of this speculation; it’s that, unlike Google, Twitter is a searchable record of what was said on any given topic. It gives users the ability to tap into a market of more than 6 million Twitter users. Searches won’t be confined to documents or webpages produced during a certain period of time – they’ll be able to poll the Twitter universe in the form of a question (something I do already – I rarely google things anymore, and instead I know that Twitter will be able to tell me the answer) and get information back from the global collective. The search engine is alive, and can provide real time feedback.
I’ve seen it happen in my own group recently – people gathering after work for drinks, questions being asked and getting answers back in real time and more.
There’s a reason that the VCs and owners have raised $55Million for Twitter – we might not see what it is yet, but there’s obviously a vision there.