Wall Street and investors alike have raised the possibility of that Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn made it clear that all social media networks are for sale, and for many (stockholders) they hope that Twitter might be next. While Twitter’s CEO seems quite adamant the company is not for sale since he took the job, investors who see the stock near an all-time low and no upward moves, are clearly hoping that Facebook or Google, might step in and take them and Twitter out of their misery.
To “sell or not to sell that is the question” for Twitter, others
When Dick Costolo announced that he would be vacating the CEO position at Twitter last summer, the Street was rife with rumors asking if that meant the company would be sold and its founders and early employees would be taking their big paydays. The only thing that stopped those conversations was new CEO Jack Dorsey and co-founder Evan Williams publicly stating that the company was in no way for sale and that the two still expected great things from Twitter.
Twitter was treading water at $14 earlier this week with drowning a distinct possibility in the backs of the minds’ of investors, then Microsoft make its LinkedIn announcement. Twitter on Friday afternoon (3:00PM EDT) is trading at $16.05 having seen $16.37 early in trading, either way it was a fairly big week for the stock considering a general lack of announcement from the company. One might almost believe that some investors think that despite Dorsey’s suggestions, Twitter could soon be purchased.
On the surface, especially if you hold stock in the company, you could be forgiven for saying, “who the hell would want to buy that dog?” For some, that would have been a good question when you bought your stock in the $30s. But, the simple answer is…a lot of companies.
Twitter’s monthly users number a bit more than $300 million and that number hasn’t grown in some time. While that’s good when talking about cancer, for example, it’s hardly ideal when you’re a publicly traded company and have to announce stagnant growth each quarter.
It’s still worth something
Twitter still has thousands of servers of data and analytics on a lot of people, scale and a cross-media presence. Hell, if you were the Koch Brothers, who clearly would like to see a Republican elected president in November, they might just buy it if only to immediately shut down Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Problem is, as often as not, it’s his mouth that does as much or more damage. But his little hands are clearly suited for Twitter use.
Google Plus has largely been a failure and it’s been largely rumored that when Larry Page was still CEO of Google, he already tried to buy Twitter in a closed door meeting with Jack Dorsey in 2011. The thinking was that Twitter would improve search, which remains Google’s bread and butter despite all its other cool stuff, and he wanted it. Of course, details of that proposed deal have never been made public.
Page has moved on to the parent company that is Alphabet but surely he could be talked into making an offer for Twitter still, but “knowing” Page the deal wont equal the offer he made five years ago.
iMessages for desktop and laptop is surprisingly popular and often forgotten about in the world of social media darlings like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and others. So for those that have long suggested that Apple would be wise to acquire Twitter might be forgetting that. Apple would likely purchase Tesla before Twitter and the with the rumored billions that Apple has apparently thrown into what the media call “Project Titan” or simply the Apple Car, that would make more sense.
While I’m sure Apple’s director for iTunes or Photos would love to integrate with Twitter and has pushed for the deal, it likely wouldn’t affect Apple’s bottom line and Tesla won’t come cheap.
So that leaves Facebook?
Some, granted very few, argued that LinkedIn was a potential suitor but that’s off the table unless Microsoft has a desire that I don’t see to pick up Twitter. They certainly have the money but little need where it could have really jump-started LinkedIn?
Facebook has made two unsuccessful bids for Twitter over the years and each time Zuckerberg has failed. I don’t see him trying and failing a third time where he could use Facebook and its billions upon billions to simply destroy Twitter. And I’m not sure he won’t.
It seems Twitter is stuck with itself until someone does snatch it up, it’s ubiquitous in its social media presence but so is its stock hanging around its all-time low.