Are you over the shock yet that Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion?
The news certainly turned a lot of heads yesterday.
Could another declining social network be scooped up next?
Yes, I'm talking about Twitter.
Like LinkedIn, Twitter has been hurting of late.
Despite the return of Jack Dorsey, Twitter's monthly active user has plateaued, fewer tweets are being tweeted, and Twitter's stocks have been on a (mostly) downward slide. Not to mention Twitter has lost tons of money--more than $2 billion since launching 10 years ago.
But there's a solution to Twitter's woes. Google.
Google should buy Twitter. And quick.
Here are five reasons why it would make complete sense for Google to buy Twitter.
1. Google Needs A Credible Social Network
Orkut. Dodgeball. Jaiku. Wave. Buzz. Google+.
OK, Google+ may not technically be dead, but it's a potato. A very expensive potato.
Then again, Google+ was never really designed to be a social network, more of an identity service to unify all Google products, from YouTube, to Gmail, to Maps, and so on.
According to some estimates as recently as a year ago, Google+ had 400 million active users.
When is the last time you even THOUGHT of Google+?
Google needs Twitter.
2. Twitter Needs Google
News is Twitter's great strength--news breaks on Twitter all the time.
But Twitter has a crippling weakness.
Despite being 10 years old, Twitter advertising and targeting is light years behind where Google is.
Advertisers gained access to Twitter's promoted tweets in 2010, and self-service advertising began in 2012.
Twitter advertising absolutely pales in comparison to Google and will continue to do so for many more years.
Just look at the ad revenue figures for 2015:
Google: $67.39 billion
Twitter: $2.2 billion
That means Google's ad revenue is 30x greater than Twitter! But hey, Google got a huge head start--they've been perfecting online advertising for nearly 16 years.
While Google can't build a successful social media network, Google is brilliant at monetizing traffic.
Google could save Twitter with its awesome analytics and monetization capabilities.
3. Twitter Has Lots Of Interesting Data
Google is a company that has always been driven by data.
Twitter definitely has collected tons of valuable behavioral data on trending topics and the things people are interested in.
It's easy to imagine Google using Twitter's real-time data to augment its search results in some capacity.
4. Social Media Consolidation Is Inevitable
In addition to the Big 5--Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest - there are dozens of networks trying to find and grow an audience. There's Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Vine, and Medium, to name just a few.
There just aren't enough hours in the day for the average person to manage multiple social networks. And really, why should they have to?
As much as I love social media, I only have time to use five social media networks.
Although Microsoft is the first to make a big move, I expect others will soon do the same.
5. Twitter Is Cheap!
Twitter's current valuation is less than $10 billion.
Microsoft paid $26.2 billion for the struggling network that is LinkedIn.
Google has been paying for access to Twitter's firehose--or all the tweets posted by Twitter users, so Google can index and display them in the search results when relevant.
But why should Google keep renting the right to tweets for a few million dollars when now is the perfect time to own ALL of Twitter's data outright for a few billion dollars?
Bonus: Once Google owns all of Twitter's data, it could either cut off Microsoft's firehose access, or make millions off their rival.
So let's say it happens. Google pulls the trigger and Twitter agrees to an acquisition. Will it be enough to help Google finally best Facebook?
No. Google already tried. It won't work.
But that doesn't mean Google can't augment its existing products with the unique features and functions that Twitter has to offer.
What do you think? Should Google buy Twitter?