Pucker Up, Twitter -- Here Comes Google

Just because Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) isn't about to get hitched with Twitter doesn't mean that the two can't mess around a little.

"We do not have to buy everyone to work with them," Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters, as retold by England's Telegraph this morning. The comment came after the annual Google Zeitgeist powwow, as Schmidt conceded that Google has had conversations with Twitter's founders over a strategic relationship.

A partnership can take many different forms:

  • Google can use its AdSense program to monetize Twitter with online ads.
  • Twitter's real-time feeds can be indexed immediately on Google.
  • Google's search engine can be enhanced with Twitter's real-time search functionality.
  • Twitter can lean on Google's fleet of servers and techies.

These all sound like worthy reasons to form an alliance. Schmidt is right. You don't have to buy Twitter to profit from it. What he doesn't get -- or at least isn't telegraphing as such -- is that he may have little choice but to buy the cow if he wants the milk.

Does Google think that it's the only company that would be a perfect fit for Twitter? Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) , Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) AOL, and even Ask.com parent IAC (Nasdaq: IACI  ) have even more to gain because they are smaller -- and hungrier -- portals.

Google thinks it can offer up a deal that is beneficial to both Twitter and Google, but what happens if Yahoo! steps up with a blank check on bended knee? What if Microsoft -- cash rich and dot-com poor -- wants to tweet?

Twitter is what even Google isn't these days: sexy, growing quickly, and a buzzword that is on everyone's lips. A lesser engine would gain some serious street cred with Twitter in its arsenal. It would also be killing two birds with a Biz Stone. It would make the buyer stronger, while keeping the hot micro-message texting platform out of the hands of Google.

Don't worry about Twitter's current lack of revenue. This is a race to see who lands the trophy wife first. If Google believes that it can just carve out choice cuts of Twitter, it is underestimating the hunger of its famished competitors. Even an online marketplace leader like eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) or a wireless titan like AT&T (NYSE: T  ) wouldn't mind snuggling up to Twitter.

Google thinks it can just move in with Twitter. I'm suggesting it look into buying an engagement ring, first.

Some other cool gems in 140 characters or less (or more):

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. eBay is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. eBay and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when Web 2.0 was an afterthought. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 20, 2009, at 8:44 PM, southard wrote:

    Twitter, Facebook, Myspace will be long gone in about 10 years. All this stuff will go the same way that AOL instant messaging went. Twitter and all the text messaging stuff reminds me of beepers before cell phones. Very few people use beepers now. I suspect that at some point all the teens are going to figure out that typing out text messages is very tiresome and truly an impractical way of communicating except in a few circumstances. They will opt for cell phone or netbook based messaging.

    Do I really care about what all my friends are doing moment by moment?

    I think it would be foolish to buy any of these companies unless you can generate enough cash flow in 5 years to pay for the purchase costs.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2009, at 9:30 AM, ziq wrote:

    I concur with southard. Twitter is a fad. Google will be around in ten years if it sticks with its mottos to be useful and not be evil. People say Twitter is useful but they haven't made their case to me.

    If Google bought Twitter that would be a huge incentive for me to sell my position in Google.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 903792, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/20/2014 7:23:10 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement