With new details of a possible Twitter acquisition imminent, we hear the micro blogging site may likely demand $30b from any interested party. While that may be true, who could these possible buyers be?
But first, here’s some Twitter facts for you before we continue.
Company name: Twitter, Inc
313 million active users with a total 1.3 billion accounts created so far. 83 percent of world leaders are on Twitter.
29.2% of American on social media use Twitter
80% of active users access the site via mobile
Average number of followers per user account is 208
391 million accounts have no followers at all
79 percent of Twitter users are from outside the US
Katy Perry has the highest number of users with 93,023,346 followers and is closely followed by Justin Bieber with 88,306,011 followers. US President Barack Obama comes fourth with 77,536,678 followers only behind Taylor Swift who has 80,993,218.
Tweets: 6,000 tweets per second which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. This according to Internet Live stats.
Number of Employees: 3,900
Revenue: $602m reported in second quarter, $595m in first quarter – 2016
Market Value: $30b, $18b but Forbes thinks it’s about $15.7b. See their break down here.
So let’s talk about possible buyers for Twitter;
The software giant has announced some really big partnerships and acquisitions so far in 2016. Let’s start with the biggest of them, LinkedIn. They announced their intention to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2b and that seems to be going well. Buying a professional institution like LinkedIn could make Microsoft’s many Cloud services available to a wider audience. On the social side, they were one of the earliest interested companies in acquiring firms like Yahoo and Facebook. In 2008, they offered to buy Yahoo for $44.6b which was rejected at the time. Well as you might have heard, Yahoo got sold to Verizon for a meagre $4.8b after being worth $128b at its peak.
Then they went on in 2010 to try and buy Facebook in 2007 in a failed attempt. But seeing as the social media giant was growing rapidly, they later settled for a $250m investment by buying 1.6 percent of the company. With that investment, Facebook was then valued at $15b. This was all an attempt to keep Google at bay. Yahoo also tried to buy Facebook for $1b in 2006 but we know hoe that turned out.
So yes Microsoft has a history with Social media companies. So they might not be bad choice after all. If you judge them though based on their $7b acquisition of Nokia Lumia, you may think twice before selling to them but this is social media and seeing as a lot of corporations use Twitter, Microsoft could integrate some of its services into Twitter and sell directly to companies from there.
Google first tried to buy Facebook in 2004 but came again in 2007 but to no avail. Since then we know that Google has gone ahead to set up its own social media network Google Plus. Since about 2.2 billion people use Google services including Search, they concluded later that they had some 111 million users on the platform but other reports only 6.7 million users have 50 or more posts ever, and only 3.5 million have 50 or more posts in the last 30 days. These figures are from April 2015 so it’s safe to say they haven’t been so successful in the social media space when put side by side the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat among others.
So depending on how you see it, Google has a lot to bring to Twitter seeing as it has a high number of people using its services monthly. Think about a future on Twitter where Google’s artificial intelligence resources are integrated into Twitter. How about bringing Google Search to Twitter and the list goes on. This might be Google’s chance to mount a real competition to the bug names in social media. Google also has the financial and technical resources to change the fortunes of the company.
News Corp bought Myspace for $580m in July 2005. At that time, Myspace was the biggest social media network in the world and by 2006, it was the most visited site in the United States and yes it wasn’t Google. That opened the eyes of the world to know that social media could be a real sector in the tech world. But Myspace has long declined in number of visitors but what of News Corp may be interested buying a contemporary social media company to make its mark eventually. They are not as big as Microsoft and Google though with respect to deep pockets.
With a market capitalisation of $55b, this company has what it takes to make a bid but more than that, they are a software company that should be interested in explaining their space in the tech world. Although it looks unlikely, they are one of the names analysts believe may be interested in acquiring Twitter.
Nah! I don’t see this happening but anything is possible. They have what it takes to acquire and probably kill the brand. Twitter is a direct competitor and may not want to sell to them. Why would they want to make such investments in the first place but like I said, it can happen so let’s not rule them out completely.
I saw this yesterday on Bloomberg and it looks like they are making a real and big move. See what Bloomberg reported yesterday; Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc., according to people familiar with the matter……. Twitter rose as much as 2.1 percent to $23.09 after being down earlier. The stock soared 21 percent on Sept. 23 following reports of the talks with Salesforce. Disney fell, dropping as much as 2 percent to $91.40.
“It’s a video distribution play,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. “What Disney has to think about is what is its place in a post cord-cutting world. They are investing in technology for distribution — and this would give them the platform to reach audiences around the world.”
So Walt Disney could be buying Twitter too.
What if an entire country wants to buy Twitter by investing massively in it?
Uber received $3.5b from the Saudi Wealth Fund in July. The rich in oil Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its near $2tr in wealth funds and decided to put part of the money into an American tech company. Uber is now valued at over $60b.
In 2011, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made a $300 million investment in Twitter and that was equal to 3.6 percent of the company. In 2015, he increased that stake to 5 percent with another $50m investment.
So could Saudi with a $2tr wealth fund make a move? Looks unlikely but that may not stop them from doing it on or the other.
If you ask me though, signs have been pointing to Microsoft and Walt Disney. There has been some silence from Google. Salesforce is making some serious moves too. In any case, Twitter could be acquired before the end of the year.