Google Buying Twitter?


Posted April 3, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

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According to internet sources, search engine company Google is in discussions with social networking site Twitter. Reportedly, the Goog wants to acquire the Twit, although how far the discussions have progressed isn't known: Some unnamed sources say Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter. Other sources say the discussions are still in a fairly early stage, and the two companies are talking about working together on a Google real time search engine. Perhaps the two companies are meeting to show each other their Pokemans. No one is quite sure.

But, since Twitter is the current "It-application" on the internet, it makes sense that Google would be trying to acquire them. As Michael Arrington of TechCrunch points out, Twitter is "the best real time database and search engine on the Internet," and Google would love to be part of that.

According to Arrington: "More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it," And therein lies Twitter's value, as well as a potentially massive pitfall.  

While it's good for companies to be able to advertise directly and immediately to Twitter users, I'm not sure why it's good for the users themselves. Given how heavy-handed and annoying most advertising is, I wonder if it will eventually kill Twitter. Can you imagine, for instances, tweeting: "I just bought new shoes!" and getting replies from 40 shoe companies wanting to sell you laces, and ads elsewhere from shoe repair places offering to re-sole your kicks?  Personally, once the spam moves in, I move out.

Of course, if the advertising companies target consumers very specifically, and only let you know about things that you actually care about, it could work... but that puts a lot of trust into the sensibilities of marketing firms. I just don't see contextual advertising being anything but intrusive and vaguely creepy in the near future. But maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?


Google Buying Twitter?


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