Google, Twitter Deal Leads to Ad Power

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-10-03 Print this article Print


Noting that Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone already sold Blogger to Google and left and that COO Dick Costolo did the same with Feedburner, Battelle wrote:

"They've got a tiger by the tail, the chance to build an independent, lasting legacy that will cement each one of them forever into the immortal tablets of business history. It's really, really hard to pass that chance up, especially if you've already gotten a score or two under your belt."

For those keeping score, experts have outlined that Google should buy Twitter or risk sponging the crumbs off of Facebook's social networking table. Other experts counter that Google is doing just fine, or that Twitter won't sell.

Forget social networking firepower for a second. Google should buy Twitter because it stands to be an advertising cash cow.

Twitter is charging $100,000 for Promoted Tweets, Trends and, soon, Accounts. Starbucks and other big-name advertisers are reportedly lining up to cash in on the microblogging madness.

Google's core business is advertising off of Internet content, so now that Twitter has proved it can monetize, it should be Google's top tech target.

At what IDC claims is some 21 percent of the mobile ad market, Google has hardly cornered the mobile ad sector. Twitter, with its mobile applications and third-party developer ecosystem, portends financial potential beyond what we can even imagine now.

That's why Google should buy Twitter. But there are others out there who don't necessarily see Promoted Tweets as the promised land for Twitter.

Arnie Gullov-Singh, CEO of, which has completed 10,000 in-stream advertising campaigns on Twitter, believes in the Twitter platform.

However, he hardly believes Twitter's Promoted suite of ad tools is the best answer because it won't scale. Advertisers, he said, must pay $100,000 for a single link on the Trending Topic on Twitter's home page.

He said it creates new challenges because Twitter asks marketers to earn the right to advertise by tweeting out enough clever content to build up an engaged following before they can spend money. Ultimately, he believes this is untenable.

"Does Google ask marketers to master SEO [search engine optimization] before they can buy AdWords? Does NBC ask marketers to write Emmy-winning dramas before they can buy a spot? The point of paying for media is that someone else has done the creative or editorial work to attract an engaged, large-scale audience that fits your target." 

Even so, Google has enough advertising talent to find additional ways to monetize Twitter.

Considering that Schmidt publicly stated that Twitter should be able to build "highly lucrative" advertising products, you can bet his executive team has discussed what they would do if they got their mitts on Twitter. 


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