Twitter striking up talks with various buyers about selling itself: Reports


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Google makes sense, and should have bought them years ago. Verizon would be terrible.


Yeah, if Big G buys them then they’ll have something more crucial than G+ in their social media portfolio.


It’s a real shame that Reason Number One for any thing to exist in the USA is that it can turn a profit.


Yes, that, and that personal information you reveal online seems to move inexorably into the hands of data aggregators at the tops of the information food chains. It’s sad.


I’ve heard a few tech commentators suggest Twitter should be bought by government and maintained for the public good, and I think they were only half joking.

It would be pretty amazing if we had governments with that kind of vision.


I can see that going spectacularly wrong, unless you consider employing an army of censors on the public purse is a good thing.


Maybe, who knows? It’s interesting to imagine government social networks the same way we have government broadcasters.


Public broadcasters are supposed to correct the natural state of things, which is unbalanced (few actors with lots of resources talking unidirectionally to everyone else). Social networks are significantly more balanced, out of the box; they’re not perfect, but the need for public actors is less felt and their drawbacks much more obvious - it’s easier for the State to just pressure them when they overstep the mark.

The next step for communication technology should be complete decentralization, which unfortunately is very hard to achieve - and authorities are completely uninterested in developing it, because it takes power away from them.


Interestingly, there is in fact a decentralised Twitter clone called Twister. It’s more of a proof of concept than an actual attempt to unseat Twitter though, but I’ve been using it for a while:


Given the fact that Twitter loses money and the more it grows the more money it loses, Google should have been paid to take it away.
Speculative ventures like gold mining work on this business model (dig a hole till you strike it rich) but Twitter’s approach was basically “dig a hole while we figure out what we’re doing here, then hope someone will fill it with money.” For gold mining, though some people either struck lucky quickly or sold out their claim for large amounts, others ended up bankrupt and left nothing behind but an abandoned claim.


So are you talking about a sort of open source platform or something? That doesn’t require any sort of funding capital?

That’s a really interesting idea.

I guess the issue here as I see it is that something like Twitter has a lot of public utility and the burden to derive revenue from it endangers that utility. It would be a good thing to be able to preserve some of these things as they evolve.


Having been moderately active on Twitter for a number of years now along with various other social media (FB, G+, Orkut, Wave and a clutch of messaging apps like WhatsApp and Line) I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing any owner of Twitter could do about abuse without making it fundamentally not Twitter any more. The character limit combined with open messaging and symmetrical following means it’s basically an abuser’s platform by (accidental) design.


For its flaws, Twitter has become one of the essential information channels of the web, and could be considered a public utility. As @gilgongo points out, its openness is its virtue as well as its hazard. I hope that Google, rather than the predators at Verizon, buys it and does what it can to remove the burden of profit and ROI from it.


Oh I know Twister :slight_smile: I even contributed a bit when it was first released. I stopped using it because it didn’t look like it could achieve critical mass in its current form, but I hope something like that will eventually emerge.


Maybe Yahoo could buy them.


I knocked up an easily refuted chart…

Oh brave new world.


If Salesforce bought them, I would delete my Twitter account so fast, you could hear a digital boom. If Google bought them, they would have a chance and I would keep my account going. Amazon…maybe…


Why oppose Salesforce? Serious question, I don’t know what their involvement would mean.


Have to use Salesforce at work (their IM client). Not big on it and whenever I’ve had issues, it takes forever to get them resolved.

I’ll pass thanks.