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Once again, rumors are circulating about Facebook buying Twitter. We take a look at the facts, the fiction and what it could all mean for eventprofs.
Facebook has been chasing after Twitter for some time now. According to Twitter Founder, Biz Stone, an offer was made several years ago. When asked to come up with a price, Twitter's founders, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey came up with $500m, thinking the number was so big that nobody would ever go for it. Zuckerberg said it was a big number but had his people make up the offer anyway. Stone and Dorsey turned the offer down.
The rumors never went away and right now the rumor mill is turning fast. Last year, there were reports that Twitter might be looking for a buyer and Facebook seems to be the obvious choice. There are three blindingly obvious reasons for this. Firstly, Facebook clearly wants to kill off Snapchat. Facebook has copied many of Snapchat's features on its own platforms, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook itself. Snapchat's audience spans all of these platforms and Twitter too. If Facebook were to acquire Twitter and roll out Snapchat-like features there too, Facebook will be offering the same functionality to nearly all of Snapchat's audience but potentially with a more connected experience.
The second reason is all down to Twitter. When the company went to IPO back in 2013, it was valued at $14.2 billion. Since then its value has risen as high as $40 billion. At the time of writing, Twitter is valued at less than $10 billion. With a mass exodus of staff and poor revenues, Twitter is in trouble, regardless of what CEO, Jack Dorsey says. Twitter needs investment, Facebook has the money and wants its audience. If nothing else, it's convenient.
Lastly, we can't forget about Google. The search giant is also vying for supremacy in the world of live streaming and its own social network, Google+, despite continued upgrades, is a perpetual damp squib. Google has the tools for real-time engagement but not the audience. From a strategic point of view, if Facebook were to acquire Twitter, it would keep Google pushed down and out of the race. According to sources at Google, it will not be making a bid.
What Facebook Buying Twitter Would Mean For Eventprofs
Twitter has long been a favourite for eventprofs. The ability to group conversations by hashtag, plus its real-time nature and video streaming (at last) make Twitter the perfect platform for events. With Facebook adding Snapchat-like features to all of its platforms, it's likely that the acquisition would mean the same for Twitter. In terms of events, that would spell the end of Snapchat. Twitter would become THE event social media platform. Snapchat would simply be redundant.
A Connected Experience
Facebook could also offer a more connected experience for its users by tying its services together. What Facebook's timeline lacks is real-time information. Bringing real-time streams into Facebook would be a killer feature for events. Currently, many events use Facebook to promote their events whilst using Twitter as a real-time backchannel. For event attendees, this is a fragmented experience. The combination of services could work both ways. A Twitter mobile app with Facebook Event functionality could create the perfect event app.
Whichever way you look at it, Twitter is in trouble and an acquisition could save the platform. Strategically speaking, Facebook buying Twitter makes perfect sense. It would be very surprising if all that smoke doesn't have at least a small fire at the center of it.