Twitter Sales Rumors Heat Up, But Is A Deal Around The Corner?

Image courtesy of Tom Raftery

In the three days since reports began to surface that Twitter was looking to sell itself — possibly to Google or professional networking site Salesforce — rumors, ranging from a $16 billion list price to a sale happening right this minute, have heated up significantly. 

While Twitter is a hugely popular social media platform, all of that influence and reach doesn’t exactly make it a highly profitable — or sought after —  company. Still, the Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter’s user data and reach around the world might be enough to lure in a bevy of potential suitors.

One such possibility is networking company Salesforce, which could use Twitter as a platform to grow exponentially. The WSJ speculates that Salesforce could use Twitter as an avenue for companies and the public to interact around customer service.

Salesforce, which assists sales people keep track of customer contacts, marketers plan and execute campaigns, and customer-service reps solve problems, could find a gold mine of customer insights with the purchase of Twitter, analysts tell the WSJ.

Any possible sale would also include the issues Twitter has faced in recent years, Bloomberg reports: a slumping user base and increased scrutiny over abuse and harassment on the site.

Bloomberg reports that Salesforce’s interest in Twitter comes less than a year after the company unsuccessfully attempted to purchase LinkedIn.

For Google, the purchase of Twitter would fill the company’s social-networking void. Additionally, Bloomberg reports that Google and Twitter could make a natural couple, as the former chief business officer for Google, Omid Kordestani, is now an executive chairman for Twitter.

Speculation that a deal between Twitter and someone was imminent came into high gear over the weekend, when venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who has long been outspoken on Twitter, abruptly left the social media site.

While some have speculated that Andreessen’s departure occurred because he’s on the board for or was heavily invested with a company that is going to buy Twitter, a rep tells TechCrunch that Andreessen is simply on a break.

Andreessen isn’t a board member for Salesforce or Google, but he does sit on the board for Facebook. According to Forbes, his portfolio also includes Pinterest, Stripe, Airbnb, Buzzfeed, and GitHub.

If such a deal materializes, Bloomberg reports that it could be valued as high as $16 billion.

That figure comes from Microsoft’s agreement to buy LinkedIn, which estimated Twitter to be worth $16.7 billion.

Of course, as sources close the matter told CNBC last week, talks of any kind of acquisition are in early stages, and a deal might not materialize.

Twitter’s Buyers Would Get Valuable Data and a Long To-Do List [Bloomberg]
Marc Andreessen suddenly deletes all his tweets, goes on Twitter break [TechCrunch]
Salesforce Weighs Twitter Bid to Spur Growth [The Wall Street Journal]