Earlier today rumor broke that Twitter is engaged in talks with both Salesforce and Google for a possible acquisition of the social network, and the stock price went crazy, along with everyone on the platform itself.
People are complaining about the idea of Google owning Twitter, but here’s the thing: that’s actually one of the best possible exits for the company. Out of all the companies that could acquire Twitter, Google is absolutely the best one and Salesforce might be amongst the worst.
Much of the frustration about the idea of Google acquiring Twitter revolves around Google+, Buzz and the other failed attempts the search giant made at social media. Yes, they were all terrible, and yes Google still sucks – to date – at any and all social media, but that itself is what makes the company a great fit.
Google has learnt the hard way that design, money and forcing people to be a part of something are not a winning combination. It witnessed that first-hand as it grew Google+ and alienated both its diehard fans as well as everyone else – the company tried to force the network on us all by requiring sign-in using a social profile and it’s not about to make the same mistake.
Here’s the thing: Google is not the same company it was in 2011 at all. Social media was new and the company had missed the boat, ultimately finding itself desperate for something to work in order to stay relevant as Twitter, Facebook and many others ran away with eye-watering active user counts.
In 2016, Google finds itself with a new CEO, a better vision and improved focus. Sundar Pichai knows what he does and doesn’t want, and that’s been clear in his moves to date. Pichai hasn’t been afraid to cut services, double down on important programs and redirect resources to new ideas.
The thing that Google under Pichai is ultimately missing? A newsfeed. Twitter is exactly that – and Google could easily acquire the social network and generally leave it alone, integrating its real-time feed into search and other products without annoying the core user base.
If Google integrated a Newsfeed product into Search for current events and related searches it would actually be a killer product for the company – and would lessen the need for direct monetization on Twitter itself.
Ultimately Google is the best suitor out of a bad bunch here – Salesforce almost certainly wants Twitter to turn it into a people-crunching CRM and you can bet the line behind the two waiting to acquire Twitter includes much more horrible companies too.
On its own, Twitter is more dangerous to itself as a public company. It’s incredibly clear it’s not able to make rational decisions or even ones that benefit the user base, time and time again. A Google acquisition would bring the engineers, ad network and support the company needs to avoid going extinct.