Would you spend $30 billion to buy a little bird? What if that little bird was the logo of Twitter and access to its 350 million active users?
That’s the conundrum facing some of the biggest technology companies in the world today. Things aren’t looking good for Twitter and suitors are lining to buy the social network if it truly comes up for sale.
News articles say Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Salesforce and even Verizon are interested. But what would they do with it?
Microsoft might be the most logical buyer. Microsoft could possibly integrate its other services such as Skype or even LinkedIn into Twitter. And let’s not forget that Microsoft’s Bing Translator is already integrated into Twitter.
Microsoft may not end up buying Twitter at the end of the day, however. The company recently bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion and Twitter wants at least $30 billion for the sale.
But of course, Google might still be interested in buying Twitter as the search giant is the king of online ads, and it probably doesn’t want to keep Google+ alive anymore.
Salesforce, on the other hand, may not benefit much from Twitter as the company is mostly an enterprise company.
Questions also linger over how Twitter will monetize its network and keep users coming, dimming the company’s appeal as a takeover target.
But the biggest reason Twitter hasn’t been bought — or seriously considered as an acquisition candidate — has been its high price.
Twitter went public in late 2013 at $26 a share, valuing it at $18 billion. After Facebook shares began to rally, investors bid up Twitter’s price as high as $69 a share. But after Twitter’s user growth flatlined and multiple efforts to boost its fortunes fizzled, the stock sank as low as $14 a share last June.
But even at that nadir, when Twitter’s value was around $12 billion, the stock was still seen as too pricey. Net profit was nowhere in sight, quarterly sales were sluggish to flat, and the company still had no clear turnaround plan in sight.
Anyone interested #Twitterfiresale?