Twitter could begin receiving formal acquisition bids as early as this week, according to the latest reports. But that isn't stopping CEO Jack Dorsey from doing everything in his power to drive up the perceived value of the company he helped found.
Among Twitter's reported interested suitors are cloud-tech giant Salesforce, Google parent company Alphabet and the Walt Disney Company. Each of these companies has its own reasons for being interested.
For Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff recently said he believed Twitter to be an "unpolished jewel" which he could turn into "a great company," according to the Wall Street Journal. Benioff is a flashy CEO who is never one to shy away from making his presence known, frequently through the Twitter service itself. Though it is not immediately clear how Twitter would work with Salesforce's other offerings, adding the Twitter brand to its arsenal would raise the profile of both Benioff and his company. Additionally, Benioff may be interested in the vast amounts of data users post on Twitter.
That data is likely what interests Alphabet. Already, Google has a partnership in place to show tweets among its search results, but tapping directly into those tweets would give Google access to a level of real-time information it has never experienced before.
Disney's interests, meanwhile, are likely those of a media giant that sees a Twitter acquisition as a way of staying in the lead of the media industry as content begins to be delivered to consumers in ways far beyond traditional TV. A report on Monday by Nick Bilton, author of "Hatching Twitter," seems to imply Disney could be the favorite to buy the social networking company.
Amidst all these rumors, however, Twitter has kept busy.
The San Francisco company has been ramping up its efforts in the world of live streaming, kicking off a deal in September with the NFL to stream 10 Thursday night games to Twitter users via the web, mobile apps and streaming devices like the Apple TV. The company has also been live streaming the general election debates.
Twitter on Tuesday also announced that it will release its latest quarterly earnings on Oct. 27. That will be the first time Twitter speaks to shareholders since kicking off its live streaming strategy. They will eagerly be waiting to hear if that tactic has helped Twitter finally jump start user growth.
Most recently, the company on Wednesday released a study that says businesses that actively conduct customer service on Twitter are more likely to attract consumer spending. The social giant said that customers who tweet at businesses and receive a response are willing to spend 3 to 20 percent more on items from those businesses.
"Combined with the revenue potential, favorability, satisfaction, and recommendation impact of these interactions, businesses can benefit significantly from investing in helping their customers on Twitter," the 10-year-old tech company said in a blog post.
All of this activity stands to benefit Dorsey, whose fiduciary duty is to return as much value to his various shareholders. Those include, prominently, himself: Dorsey owns more than 21 million shares of Twitter, making him one of the biggest individual shareholders. He returned to the company as its official CEO one year ago. Since then, Twitter has seen its market capitalization fall from $19 billion to $17 billion after the close on Tuesday. The company's value stood at $23 billion when Dorsey was appointed as interim CEO last June.
If Twitter were sold for more than $23 billion, Dorsey will have technically done his job, if not fulfilled his vision.