Indexing & Search Engine: Google Must Buy Twitter: 10 Reasons Why the Deal Needs to Happen Now
Google Must Buy Twitter: 10 Reasons Why the Deal Needs to Happen Now
by Clint Boulton
Facebook Is Eating Googles Social Sandwich
Facebook has more than 500 million users. Google has more than 1 billion searchers. You might think Google would have the edge in time spent, but people tend to search and flit away elsewhere. People stick around longer on Facebook. Need proof? ComScore said Facebook users logged41.1 million minutes on Facebook compared with 39.8 million minutes on all of Google's Websites.
Googles Social Quandary
Google needs a credible presence in social media. The company has acquired social software startups Slide, Jambool, Angstro and SocialDeck for talent, but has yet to release a product. Twitter, with its 160 million users piping out millions of tweets each day, provides that massively scaling social product presence immediately.
Google Buzz is a nice social conversation service, but it's hardly scaling massively, let alone serving as a major advertising play for Google. What about that Google social network, allegedly called Google Me? Google's Schmidt said the company isn't building one, but adding social mediain layers. Fine, but a loose string of Web services won't get it done.
Google, Twitter Now
While Google already indexes Twitter tweets, it isn't able to leverage them for ad dollars. Moreover, Microsoft Bing, Facebook and Myspace also do this. From a strategic perspective, this is a wash for Google. We would argue Google isn't leveraging that partnership well enough to matter.
Twitter's leadership, including co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and COO Dick Costolo, all sold companies to Google. Stone and Williams sold Blogger, while Costolo sold Feedburner. These men know what it takes to work at Google and build Twitter to scale. Imagine a Twitter without downtime. That's a Twitter with Google providing the infrastructure!
Cash on Hand
It's not as if Google is shelling out billions left and right to save or grow its business. As Henry Blodget noted, Google is sitting on a $30 billion war chest of cash. Certainly $5 billion or so to buy Twitter would be worth the peace of mind knowing that Google owns a social beachhead.
Twitter = Social = Mobile
Schmidt has taken to espousing a "mobile first" strategy in his public talks this year. Twitter lends itself to mobile very well on Apple's iPhone, Google's Android platform and even RIM's businesslike BlackBerry devices. Twitter for Android is already popular, and Google could provide deeper integration there.
Buy Twitter, Get More Talent
There is a massive ecosystem of desktop and mobile Twitter clients Google would have access to. Google could even mine talent from makers of those apps to grab additional social media and mobile app experts. Such weapons would help Google combat not only Facebook, but Apple, which is a major mobile player with social designs.
Google TV, Twitter
Twitter stands to be a significant application on Google TV, which is launching this month. The microblog Oct. 4 launched a Twitter app for Google TV. Imagine watching a basketball game and splitting the screen to tweet about what you're watching. That could be a powerful combination for Google, especially if TV advertisers get in on the game.
The Top Reason
Forget, the obvious talent and product synergies. The top reason, in our humble opinion, for Google to buy Twitter is the advertising potential. Schmidt called attention to it himself. If Twitter can command $100,000 for advertisers to drop a link at the top of a Web page or trend column, imagine what Google's scale and ad firepower can bring to the platform. Despite Google's efforts to expand its enterprise business, its core assets are search advertising. Bringing Twitter into the fold will provide another major revenue stream for the company.