“Twitter struggles to grow users.”

“Twitter’s share price is one-third of it’s early post-IPO days.”

“Twitter suffers and from an identity problem.”

“Twitter under-performs in comparison to analyst expectations.”

So is it time to say ‘Goodbye Twitter’?

The news came out making it official – yet early in the process – that Twitter’s Board of Directors was entertaining talk about a takeover.

It’s interesting that the news and information platform that seems to be the purest attempt yet to enable global virtual communities is the one that struggles with so-called success. It seems that a public company worth $15.4bn is making enough money.

After several starts, Twitter’s “monetisation” efforts all falling short of Wall Street expectations. So now, though, Twitter does take on some attraction as an acquisition target, with the notable suitors being Google, Disney and Salesforce.

Google’s interest in Twitter is fairly obvious:

  • They have long-standing collaborative efforts in place.
  • Google’s own efforts in the social media arena have been, well, disappointing?

The mention of Salesforce in the acquisition talks takes some deeper consideration. Known for its enterprise CRM/business process software, Salesforce may simply be after Twitter’s deep well of personal data and contextualized current events:

Some companies use Twitter effectively as a customer service platform, too, as mentioned in the New York Times DealBook article of 23rd September 2106. Learning from those customer interactions could provide key data-points to Salesforce analytics regarding customer behavior.

We know now that Salesforce bid aggressively for LinkedIn earlier this year, only to be beat out by Microsoft. LinkedIn seems an obvious fit. Twitter, not so much…

Other potential ‘buyers’ are being speculated, and one wonders, what if? Twitter did a buy-back and went private? Nah. That would take financing and underwriters that, as we already know, have little faith in the social network’s ability to monetize.

So the question remains: Is this goodbye to Twitter? We’ll see.

Q1) Do you think Twitter will remain a relevant platform post-acquisition?

Q2) What are the attributes of Twitter that make business sense in acquiring it?

Q3) Is it a good idea for tech start-ups to remain private companies? Why/not?

Q4) What do you think is the attraction of Twitter to a company like Salesforce?

Q5) Endless comparisons to Facebook keep Twitter on its heels. How might Twitter best distinguish itself?

Q6) Do you think Google can revitalise Twitter’s monetisation efforts, while keeping it relevant?