Friday, September 30, 2016

Twitter Up For Sale

After 10 years on the web, experts say that Twitter shows all the signs of a need for a buyout: stagnated revenue, inability to innovate, and departing executives. Despite giving the world the concept of microblogging, Twitter has found it difficult to continue growing like its competitor, Facebook. The time has come to sell but there is no shortage of suitors.

Names that have been thrown around include Google, Salesforce, Microsoft, Verizon, Apple, and even Disney with an estimated sale value of $71 billion. Who would have the motive and the money to buy?

This tech giant has both the will and the wherewithal for such a buy. Google has been wildly successful as a search engine and with ads and smartphones. However, Google has failed to stake a substantial claim in social networking compared to other platforms. Google+ has been a sore disappointment and YouTube has failed to bring in core members.

Twitter would give Google an additional platform to grow its search engine functions and perfect its artificial intelligence for Android and Chrome OS. Twitter has 313 million followers who are constantly tweeting, making it a rich mine for data.

There is the will but the money is not there. Salesforce has been a leader in software vending and cloud computing. Salesforce wants Twitter for its increased use as a customer service tool and marketing campaign platform. This is a revenue stream that can be optimized. Salesforce also hopes to perfect its cloud artificial intelligence with data from Twitter.

Salesforce’s founder, Marc Benioff, is a man known to take risks. He has been on a buying spree recently and even offered to buy LinkedIn before Microsoft gave a bigger offer. But at a $45 billion market cap, Salesforce does not have the money and would be forced to get into a merge-like arrangement, something the shareholders are resisting.

After buying LinkedIn, Microsoft may be eyeing the numbers in Twitter and the well-developed ad platform to enrich its consumer media. With a pivot to enterprise solutions provision, this would be part of the Microsoft’s reinvigoration strategy. The $71 billion sale money would be small change for Microsoft.

The telecom giant recently acquired Yahoo and rumors are associating it with Twitter’s buy as a way of spreading its web footprint even wider. Twitter and Yahoo could give Verizon an ad platform that could rival Facebook and Google.
Twitter’s market cap went over $20 billion for the first time since its IPO in 2014. The names in this saga continue to be bandied around with the tech industry eagerly watching the developments.

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