Skip to main content

Google May Buy Twitter. Or Not. But Why is Twitter So Hot?

After a long day of meetings and many sleepless days this week, I decided to go to sleep early last night. I guess I missed the late-breaking rumor that Google may be buying hot micro-blogging/messaging service Twitter for ungodly sums of money. When I read the headline this morning, the first image that popped into my head was this scene from “King Kong,” with Twitter as Naomi Watts.

A few clicks later, when at Kara Swisher’s blog, I learned that no, Google is not buying Twitter, as originally reported by TechCrunch. The two companies are apparently involved in product discussions. True or not, however, I get the feeling this acquisition rumor is going to dominate the conversation.

At present, Twitter is having a media honeymoon. Not a weekend passes when The New York Times doesn’t devote a considerable part of its expensive newsprint to Twitter. Jon Stewart jokes about it. Even Playboy models have Twitter accounts! In today’s dismal economic climate, thanks to its simplicity and its chameleon-like ability to be “many things to many people,” Twitter in many ways has come to represent the zeitgeist. No wonder some hip-hop moguls want to invest in the company.

A few weeks ago, I told Jemima Kiss of The Guardian that Twitter was like a megaphone for everyone on the planet. And that’s what makes it so powerful. Yesterday, I had the same conversation with German Radio reporter Marcus Schuler, who’s in town attending the Web 2.0 Expo. I tried to explain that Twitter is the most visible manifestation of three major trends on the web that should be viewed together:

1. The web is transitioning from mere interactivity to a more dynamic, real-time web where read-write functions are heading towards balanced synchronicity. The real-time web, as I have argued in the past, is the next logical step in the Internet’s evolution. (read)
2. The complete disaggregation of the web in parallel with the slow decline of the destination web. (read)
3. More and more people are publishing more and more “social objects” and sharing them online. That data deluge is creating a new kind of search opportunity. (read)

Twitter essentially embodies those macro trends but hides them behind the elegant simplicity of 140 characters. Twitter, in fact, is not just a company — instead it has become a verb — and in the process, actually represents a certain way of doing things. That’s why I’ve maintained that Twitter shouldn’t really sell…at least not now!

As it turns out, even Twitter management is thinking about going long on their company. Last night Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told Stephen Colbert that they’re in it for the long haul and want to turn fast-growing Twitter into a big company. Remember, they turned down Facebook, which wanted to buy them for $500 million. They can hold out for more — especially if Google does get desperate. When will that be? When Larry and Sergey start tweeting. Of course, in the interim, you can follow me on Twitter.

Updated: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone writes on the Twitter blog:

My inbox is flooded this morning with requests for a response to the latest Internet speculation about where Twitter is headed. It should come as no surprise that Twitter engages in discussions with other companies regularly and on a variety of subjects. Our goal is to build a profitable, independent company and we’re just getting started.

Author Archive for Om Malik

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Golden Age for Cheapskates

In a Lousy Economy, People Dig a Bit Deeper to Turn Up Deals
By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last fall, the Woodbine, Md., mother of three figured out a great way to get some: online giveaways. She has entered about 40 so far. She has won T-shirts, cleaning products, a small portable vacuum, olive oil, beef jerky and -- best of all -- a Nintendo DS on Web sites such as http://MeTime.com, http://TheMotherhood.com and http://5minutesformom.com.

"The lure of free stuff is quite appealing," she said. "I never considered myself a winner. I don't think I ever won bingo. My name was never drawn from a hat. However, I've been extraordinarily successful at the giveaways."

The recession has emboldened a certain kind of consumer: The mooch. With dwindling retirement savings, a higher cost of living and wobbly job market, they don't just want discounts on items they used to pay full price for without a second thought. They want freebi…

THE ANCIENT SHIP APPEARS AGAIN AT SHORT SANDS YORK BEACH MAINE

A RECENT NOR EASTER HIT THE NEW ENGLAND COAST AND AS THOUGHT THIS WRECK SURFACED AGAIN FROM ITS BURIED DEMISE--The skeleton only appears periodically - the last time was in 2013 - always after a significant coastal storm, and always attracting attention. Archaeological work conducted in 1980 indicated the wreck is a sloop of about Revolutionary War age. It is likely a “pinky,” a type of vessel with a high, narrow stern and square rigging easily maneuverable along the coast of Maine. Pinkies were popular as fishing and cargo vessels. The first sighting of the skeleton was in 1958, and then it has surfaced periodically right up to the present day - and usually after a good spring nor’easter. Word spread quickly about this sighting via social media, and people came over the weekend and on Monday as well. First, they had to navigate the seaweed- and rock-strewn streets of York Beach. They were also precluded from parking cars in most of the Ellis Park lot, which was buried under a layer …

CREATE YOUR OWN MOSAIC

I've always felt a special fascination for mosaics. From Roman tile compositions to current digital collages, I think they're an awesome artistic expression.
That's why I was so happy when I found Andreamosaic.
This tool enables you to create amazing mosaics from your digital pictures in a very easy way.
It requires having a large collection of photos to use as tiles, that's true. Fortunately the installation file already includes a pack of 500 sample photos that produce excellent results.
The program's interface is quite dull; in fact it's simply a gray window with too much text on it. But the mechanics are easy to understand so you'll be creating your own mosaics in no time!
Plus, the program includes a 20-page manual that explains everything thoroughly. Just remember that the more tiles you use, the longer it will take to generate the mosaic and the larger the final file will be.

BY ELENA SANTOS CREATE YOUR OWN MOSAIC

How To Create A Photo Mosaic In Photos…