According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Twitter is to start taking bids for its business this week. In what could amount to a $20 billion or more social media buy, the biggest names in tech have all been put forward to the rumour mill as potential buyers.
According to Recode and CNBC reports, Google, Apple and Disney have already pulled out of the race – a race in which every big name from media, telecoms and tech are seemingly being lined up for.
However, it must be noted that Twitter is not officially for sale, with no acquisition guaranteed even though the company is reportedly set to accept bids. As Twitter pushes for a 2017 sale, CBR runs down the 5 possible companies who could make a bid for Larry the bird.
Salesforce has already lost in one bid for a social media company, losing out to Microsoft in a deal reported to be worth $26bn. Having already called on EU regulators to investigate Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, the cloud computing giant may be looking to get its fill of data elsewhere.
Although Twitter has faced criticism regarding revenues and monetisation throughout its short history, Salesforce may be attracted to its 300 million + active monthly users – a key selling point, illustrated nicely by CEO Marc Benioff who this week said that ‘data is the currency in software’s new world order.’ Other key Salesforce execs have also publicly spoken about the potential deal as being a wise buy, with digital head Vala Afshar tweeting:
Salesforce seem like a good bet to go after Twitter – we know they have deep pockets and that they were already in the market for a social media platform. Although CEO Benioff did downplay his interest in Twitter when talking to CNBC, he did say that ‘it’s in our interest to look at everything.’
Facebook would not be on completely new ground if they went for Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg has tried and failed to buy the company, not once, but twice.
Many share the opinion that Facebook has tried and failed to imitate Twitter, with Zuckerberg maybe considering a big acquisition rather than another future failure.
Then there is an element of keeping Twitter within a social media company – Facebook
knows the pitfalls and challenges of social media so would be able to pick up Twitter running. Twitter could easily integrate with the Facebook app portfolio, with Instagram and Messenger proving that the two platforms could exist separately and work.
A Twitter acquisition for Facebook would also be a great strategic buy – the blue bird enables global interaction and conversation, while Facebook has kept the invite-only, local feel from when it first launched.
For Facebook, a Twitter buy would be more of a strategic move, with a marrying of platforms which could potentially create a tweeting, liking, social media giant. However, with Google and Apple reportedly pulling out of the running, many expect Facebook to follow suit.
The Wild Cards
Microsoft has the money, but it has already spent a huge amount of cash on LinkedIn – $26bn to be exact. However, if Microsoft wanted to fill its boots with data, then LinkedIn and Twitter would provide an unparalleled amount of data. However, Microsoft has already spent big and will be busy moving forward with LinkedIn.
Amazon could shock the industry if it went for the blue bird – the question is, what would Amazon do with it? Amazon could let customers integrate their social and e-commerce experience, or connect Twitter to its media delivery services. However, Amazon is firmly in retail and AWS – it seems a long shot, even though the company fulfils the criteria of having a big enough bank balance and thirst for data.