Don’t say you didn’t see it coming.
Last Friday, the blog world churned out post after post investigating claims that Google is in talks to buy Twitter.
There was quite a bit of finger-pointing going on – whose sources were more legit, who was reporting on derivatives, blah blah blah. I’m less interested in handing out journalism awards and way more excited to discuss just what a Google takeover would mean for Twitter users, marketers included.
For Twitter users, addicts, and fans who don’t necessarily tweet but understand its value, I want to know what you think. The idea that Twitter could be controlled by Google is upsetting, to say the least. One of the best things about Twitter is the fact that it feels very open and free (AKA not controlled by a global corporation, like Google). On top of that, the fact that tweeting is so useful and fun makes it feel like I’m getting away with something every time I tweet.
Despite my emotional attachments to Twitter as it stands today, there are folks out there making rational and rather convincing arguments about why it makes sense for Google to acquire the microblogging service, and David Berkowitz, Director of Emerging Media for 360i, is one of them. In an article featured on Advertising Age’s all-things-digital blog, Digital Next, Berkowitz writes:
Despite all the buzz that Twitter gets, it’s still a blip on marketers’ radars right now, and most marketers who are interested in it don’t use it as well as they could for brand monitoring or communicating. That said, a Google acquisition might help Twitter provide more value to marketers (and maybe gain a revenue stream in the process) and would help steer marketers in the right direction with Twitter, as well.
Berkowitz makes a good point. Assuming he is right about Google’s ability to turn Twitter into a transparent tool and squeeze as much marketing juice out of it as possible, maybe a Google acquisition makes sense.
On the other hand, part of the Twitter’s mystique is precisely the fact that not everyone knows how to use it…and those who do are doing great things. Moreover, not everyone feels that Google has done a great job with the properties it has acquired in the past (YouTube, Blogger, etc.).
What do you think? Does everything cool have to go mainstream? Is there a way to monetize Twitter without selling ads? Is it possible for Twitter to continue to grow and remain a solo entity? Post your thoughts below.