Cast your mind back to last spring when the rumours were kicking around that Google wanted to own Twitter. It didn’t happen and nothing came of the story.
A year down the line and Techcrunch argues buying Twitter and owning a large slice of the real time market is still at the fore of Google’s agenda. That is what the blog post says Buzz is about. Google has launched it in the hope that it will gain traction, strengthen its hand and bring Twitter back to the table allowing it to snap it up for a few dollars less than it might have paid otherwise.
“Buzz did not launch in some Google Labs backwater. It is placed front and center in Gmail. Buzz is Googleâ€™s strongest effort yet to enter the stream. If Buzz can gain traction it would certainly help Googleâ€™s negotiating position with Twitter.”
Maybe there is something in this, from Google’s perspective at least, but as for Twitter I don’t think so. Twitter has already ruled out an IPO in 2010 and this is going to be an exciting year for Twitter. There is a lot happening. In that environment it strikes me that selling up is going to be the last thing on the mind of Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Stone said so himself in November: “we are definitely not interested in selling the company”. It doesn’t get much clearer (granted people change their mind).
This year is all about building a solid revenue base via deals with search engines and media partners and advertising.
Twitter develops Google-like advertising platform
And the Twitter advertising story is finally getting off of the ground. There was interesting news on the ad front this weekend. According to All Things D, Twitterâ€™s ad plan looks kind of like Google. That’s Text ads will appear in search Twitter streams very much like they first did with Google, but if you don’t search you won’t see them.
That is a good start for Twitter no one is going to mind that. If I’m search for tweets about Dell (as I did the other week when I bought new RAM) I might see some ads. Some of those might even be helpful. Best of all as a strategy it is not going to upset the user apple cart. No one (that I can see is going to mind that too much).
What is clearly going to change over time is the way we search Twitter. Let’s face it the search is pretty damn rudimentary at the moment but elsewhere Techrunch has also reported about possible plans Twitter has to develop its overall web platform.
The news of development came after a tweet from Twitter engineer Alex Payne that later seems to have been deleted.
The tweet hinted that some nifty features for the site were on the way and suggested that this could persuade people to stop using desktop clients. This clearly caused a bit of a storm as not only was the tweet deleted, but Payne sent out a few more tweets including this one: “I just mean that our web client team is building cool stuff. It’s going to inspire desktop app developers. Same data, new perspectives”. Clearly designed to calm developer nerves who must have sat there and thought “holy frak there goes my business” (or something like that).
What these features are no one knows, but transforming the Twitter interface would certainly switch a lot of people on to using Twitter via the web. Twitter has already talked about how it plans more mobile improvements to tackle third party developers on that front as well.
Like I said this is going to be an interesting year and I just donâ€™t see a sale on the cards.