What does messaging/microblogging startup Twitter want from Google? Not necessarily a buyout — as TechCrunch had incorrectly reported two weeks ago — but more immediately, access to Google’s (GOOG) massive user base.
In an interview with the New York Times, Twitter investor Fred Wilson said the company’s most important metric is “tweet views,” or the number of times Twitter’s messages are viewed per month — whether on Twitter’s Web site, a Twitter iPhone or desktop app, text message, or Facebook.
That’s where Google can help: For example, by giving Google’s search engine access to Twitter’s millions of messages, Twitter could dramatically increase its “tweet views.” In the same New York Times story, Brad Burnham, another Twitter investor, likened the idea to the distribution deals Google struck in its early days with AOL and Yahoo. (Twitter is trying to hire an executive to lead those types of deals.)
And about that buyout? Wilson “could not rule out an acquisition, conceding that ‘money has a powerful impact on people’ and that despite the Twitter co-founders’ desire to build a big company, they also have to answer to investors and employees.” So it’s not out of the question.
But given Twitter’s incredibly steep growth curve — more than doubling its U.S. unique visitors in March — it’s probably a good idea to wait a while, anyway.
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