Has Twitter's IPO Window Already Closed?

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If Twitter is a wire service, then Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) social network, Google+, is a budding TV station. Last week, an enterprising reporter from a Missouri NBC affiliate used the network's "Hangouts" function to compile a live video fed of interviews with Norwegian residents in the wake of the attacks there.

The effort was a success, and it was reminiscent of Twitter circa 2008, when the microblogger made headlines for its role in helping to report attacks in Mumbai, India. At that time, unsubstantiated hearsay mixed with eyewitness accounts to create a compelling -- if confusing -- account. Big Media hasn't been the same since.

G+ doesn't face the same controversy. As MediaBistro's Ethan Klapper rightly points out, the Google-y network is an "all-in-one" solution that combines elements of Skype, Twitter, and Facebook. The combination is what allowed KOMU-TV reporter and anchor Sarah Hill to gather sources quickly, and then, with a few clicks, go straight into a multisource interview.

Whether this ought to matter to Google investors isn't yet clear. But I imagine it's awfully disruptive to Twitter, which can only watch as its IPO window closes. Investors once enthralled by hot names such as LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD  ) and Renren (NYSE: RENN  ) are now confronted with a U.S. debt crisis that shows no signs of abating. Hot names aren't hot anymore, and Twitter's edge in delivering news in real time -- while still present -- could be giving way to more comprehensive services.

Expect Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) to take note. CEO Steve Ballmer has gotten religion on social search, and his company's ties to Facebook are well known. Mix in Skype and you have the beginnings of a well-positioned G+ rival. And Twitter? Well, at least it's on the iPhone.

Do you agree? Has Twitter has lost its IPO mojo? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to explain your thinking. You can also add any of the stocks mentioned in this article to your watchlist for up-to-date analysis as soon as it's published.

Fool contributorTim Beyers is a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdings andFoolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Google and creating a covered collar position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.


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