By Mwebya Fred: With the recent upper margin purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft, a lot of questions have been raised most especially that of “who will buy twitter?”
I have thought out the above question and here in this article I will share why I think Apple has 70% chance of buying twitter compared to 30% by Google. However we also need to explore if twitter as a company is ready for takeover.
Despite its lack of success at growing its audience – its daily users were recently surpassed by Snapchat – Twitter has a loyal and dedicated audience of around 400m users and is a veritable hosepipe of information and analytical insights.
But last year it lost its CEO Dick Costolo, saw the return of Jack Dorsey and has been peddling fast to make sure it is on top of trends such as video and photo content. But it has seen significant leadership departures and has yet to deliver a user interface that cuts through the fast moving Twittersphere to make discernible sense.
Twitter’s life on the public markets has been harsh and exacting since the company peaked at $73 in December 2013, valuing the company at $50bn at the time. Today, Twitter has a market cap of $10.4bn based on a share price of just under $15.Verdict: Yes Twitter is ripe for the takeover.
But who will buy it? In one corner you could see traditional media stables like Rupert Murdoch’s News International licking their lips.
But what about Silicon Valley’s finest? Like Apple or Google?
The Apple scenario
The company is dead-focused on finessing its hardware ecosystem and at the same time building out the apps economy; last week it revealed it is changing the split from the sale of apps to 15/85pc for developers that hold on to their subscribers for more than a year.
But Apple is also facing declining sales of iPhone devices and the market is clamoring for Apple to reveal its next big trick in terms of hardware, be it a TV or an electric, self-driving car.
But what if the next move was social? That will be tantalizing moment for all the apple users with the ability to enjoy a customized social web. I imagine a better world of periscope, twitter and podcasting. Let’s watch the space and very soon we shall have very clear answers.
The Google scenario
And then there is Google, now a subsidiary of its parent company Alphabet, which briefly surpassed Apple in market cap recently. With 30% chance of buying twitter, Google would not hesitate to grab the opportunity of buying Twitter any time any day.
Google is a lot of things, but its foray into social networking in the form of Google+ has been a marked disaster. While it has yielded technical marvels such as Google Hangouts and Photos, user engagement has been poor and hanging out in Google+ is a bit like meeting mates for cocktails in the Mojave Desert.
Google is trying to stay on top of all the trends in advertising – mobile, video, web – and the missing link is social.
It has the cash and it has the expertise to turn a buy of Twitter into a paradigm shift that could pay off handsomely in steaming a path into the next level of advertising: programmatic driven by analytics.
If the acquisition of LinkedIn surprised anyone, the surprise should be that no one bought Twitter first.