Who wants Twitter?

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google-and-twitter-merge-forces-for-better-indexingIs Twitter up for sale?  I’m reading a lot about how people are perceiving Twitter as a failure.  It’s only ten years old and everyone it appears is measuring its success against Facebook and others.

A share price graph below shows that Twitter has consistently failed to impress the markets with it’s initiatives and business model.  How does it actually make money?

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Facebook on the other hand has gone from strength to strength.   With a market capitalisation of $363.5bn and some major acquisitions.. Instragram (2012), WhatsApps (2014), FriendFeed, Karma, Face.com, Nextstop, Drop.io, Hot Potato and more.

 

facebook-share-price

Did Twitter buy sensibly?  According to Wikipedia, Twitter has made 53 acquisitions.  Where they sensible purchases?  Where any of them as well known as Facebooks?  So where did they go wrong?

According to Dom Burch writing on The Drum back in July; he lists a number of things that Twitter are doing wrong:

  1. Enable Instagram to work again
  2. Allow me to unfollow groups of people
  3. Date stamp when I followed people and remind me ‘on this day’ you followed
  4. Stop advertising stuff that is irrelevant to me
  5. Allow more than 140 characters and hide the extra text after the three dots.
  6. Allow more than one account to instantly follow the same people as your other account
  7. On that point, let me follow as many other people as I want
  8. Clear out the dead wood
  9. Name and shame accounts
  10. Failing all that …. sell yourself to Google

On Number 10 lets come back to that later…

Could Burch’s comments be the reason?  I think there are elements of truth in his top ten list.   How could businesses invest heavily in Twitter when they could only do it 140 characters at a time?

I enjoy Twitter and find that it is a great way to share information, good news, deal with customer service and engage with customers.  However, this is on a 1-2-1 basis and if we did this in the olden days with direct mail – companies would have gone bankrupt very quickly indeed.

Saying that 1-2-1 marketing is essential in today’s marketing strategy.  Companies need to know who their customers are and engage with them.  However, it’s part of a social marketing strategy.  Important yes … but yet a part.

… and parts can be replaced.

Should Twitter die then who would replace it?  Google+? Facebook picking up the slack?  Perhaps a new player?

So who wants to buy it?  Well the list (according to Telegraph) is:

  • Google
  • Disney
  • SalesForce
  • Microsoft
  • Verizon
  • Apple

All these companies have the cash to buy Twitter but, does the business case work?  I’m still struggling to understand why Disney does?  Microsoft has just bought Linkedin for an astonishing amount of money ($26bn) and the markets felt that whilst great for Linkedin – how were they gonna make the money back?  How did it fit into the company’s roadmap?

Would they be willing to take another chance?

Apple is sitting on a pile of cash and they could easily afford Twitter.  However, as with Microsoft, where would it fit in their roadmap.

With all these company’s allegedly in contention for Twitter.  Who is going to pay $45bn for it?  What is truth does it have? 974 million accounts?  So what?  What can it do with that?  Is it hoping to take this base and turn them into customers?

Whatever happens we are going to see significant changes in the social media sphere and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

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