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Friday 16 January 2009

Will Google buy Twitter?

There is already a lot of buzz around the question if Google is planning to buy Twitter. Some people are already predicting that this is certainly true.

My friend Stowe, says in his post,

This suggests to me that Google is *very* interested in acquiring Twitter, and I bet discussions are happening already.


I know that this was on the offing, but it would be disastrous if Google buys Twitter. Twitter has the potential to create a new revolution in publishing and content assimilation, an idea that Google has no clue about.

Google's strength lies in its ability to create products that present information easily and with great relevance, be it text or images. Google is great at figuring out what people expect to see from the content present on the web. However, it has no idea of how people communicate with each other and how that content can be created.

Twitter hit upon something different, or maybe the users of Twitter have made it seem different (and I hope Evan Williams and team understand this) - Twitter has provided a new content generation mechanism to people, along with the ability to tag them and therefore index them in a way that people associate them. Ofcourse, this does mean that searching and finding that information (which is Google's expertise) does become easy and more relevant, but that is not the "big" idea. The big idea is on the other side - on using the Twitter model to generate content, which has till now been too tedious and cumbersome both to generate and to tag and associate in an easy way.

I suspect that if Google buys Twitter, it will be able to use the relatively small idea of the Twitter model of content access, which is of importance to Google. Google will also achieve its more important objective of capturing the Twitter user base, usage pattern and so on. But it will be a lost opportunity for the "big" idea of the Twitter model of content generation.

If the Twitter team have a vision of the future, they should stick on with Twitter by themselves, just as Google has done. In a few years they will be able to buy Google.

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