Google, Salesforce, Microsoft and Verizon are all rumored suitors reportedly in conversation with the troubled social media company for a potential acquisition, according to CNBC. Twitter’s value is primarily in the vast amount of data generated by its 313 million users, and not necessarily in its current model. Despite there being no confirmation of a deal, Twitter’s stock has risen over 20% this morning and continues to percolate above that number.
The list of interested companies is curious, each with its own potential motivations.
Salesforce is the trickiest one to understand. As a business-facing company, they have little to gain from a consumer facing social network which has shifted its focus to becoming an entertainment platform. Data would be the win here, but Twitter as we know it would likely cease to continue.
Microsoft may be in the ring simply to prevent Salesforce from winning, thought would also benefit from the potential data. This would make a significant shopping trip for Microsoft following their spring acquisition of LinkedIn for $26 billion.
Twitter’s board of directors aren’t necessarily interested in the idea of a future sale considering it has dumped resources into social video though its user growth has stalled and revenue has fallen in the last two years. Board member and co-founder Ev Williams told Bloomberg last month that the company may “consider the right options” in regard to an acquisition.