Facebook to buy Twitter*


Facebook is known to turn its greatest enemies into its greatest strength, and if speculations are to be believed, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media patriarch could end up buying Twitter.

Twitter has been the one social media platform that maintained its distinctive allure and identity over the years, while Facebook transformed itself into an advertiser’s dream, a news channel, social network, and anything and everything in between.

Interestingly, Facebook has tried to acquire Twitter on more than one occasion in the past and now appears to be the perfect time for the two to conflate. Something it had also tried to do with Snapchat, which proved unfruitful, before Facebook simply ended up cloning Snapchat’s Stories feature and incorporating it into Instagram.

So as one can see, Facebook gets its way, either by acquisition or by cloning its rivals’ features into its own platforms. (See: WhatsApp filters, Poke, Slingshot etc)

Twitter on the other hand has been dealing with their share of problems such as stagnant user growth, difficulty in putting a stop to all the bullying and harassment that is prevalent on their platform, engaging with the users they already have whilst enticing newer users to join and tweet away.

A lot of Twitter’s attempts one may recollect such as excluding images and hashtags from its 140 character limit, partnering with the Bombay Stock Exchange for stock market updates, devising a revenue sharing model to facilitate the influx of content creators on their platform, Promoted Stickers for brands and also an anti bullying feature, but nothing seemed to revive Twitter’s fate.

On one hand, while Facebook reveled in its success, Twitter kept stumbling upon hurdle after hurdle with the news of an impending acquisition from Google (makes sense), Disney (yeah we don’t get it either!), cloud computing wizards, Salesforce or tech titan Apple. This sent the Twitter stock racing upwards, and then…

One after another, every potential candidate dropped out of the race, sending the Twitter stock spiraling down, meaning the company value went down with it. Now, all the interested buyers being multi-billion dollar corporations, do understand that this was not a good sign, and could mean a huge loss if they ended up buying Twitter nevertheless.

Facebook on the other hand, has a lot to gain by this interesting turn of events which has weakened their biggest rivals on the social media front. If you ask what Facebook has to gain by paying millions or billions for a company in turmoil and experiencing a hint of an identity crisis, ask yourself this : What did Facebook gain by paying close to $22 billion for WhatsApp?

User data!

Behavioral patterns equip Facebook to fine tune their advertising on all the platforms that it owns, which not now but 4-5 years from now, puts Facebook in an enviable position. Not to mention the billions it will make.

Now Mark Zuckerberg must have an entire division of lawyers, businessmen, accountants and whatnot, working on the pros and cons of paying big bucks for Twitter, reinvigorating its sagging user base, turn it into the enigma that Twitter used to be and re-apply all the user data that Twitter has to offer, which it most definitely will end up doing.

Therefore, it would not be completely audacious to hint at an impending takeover with a third and final attempt from Facebook.