Twitter made the right choice to turn down Facebook
Micro-messaging phenom Twitter recently turned down social networking giant Facebook’s offer of a buyout of $500 million, and there are those that are questioning the judgement of the Twitter team, especially in light of the economic wasteland. But even considering startup’s blatant lack of any revenue model, Twitter made the right decision.
$500 million must have sounded awefully appealing to a company that has scraped together a modest $20 million since its birth. And it’s not like Twitter doesn’t have issues that could be resolved by throwing a large pile of money at them; outtages and API call fluctuations are plaguing the platform even today.
But Twitter’s user base still grows, and long-time users are still around. Something in the essence of Twitter, despite the company’s relative poverty in comparison to what profits it could have, keeps Twitter alive and well.
And as appealing a union between Twitter and Facebook might seem on approach, there is a lot at stake for the small company. Twitter has everything to lose, while Facebook could throw $500 million at the micro-messenger and care less if the resulting changes adversely affected the platform or its users.
Face it: Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the most trustworthy or consistent person to have at the helm. The dust caused by the invasive advertising on Facebook debacle may have settled, but I’m not sure that Zuckerberg wouldn’t be quick to retool Twitter in a way that would be detrimental to the Twitter community.
The Twitter team is taking careful steps towards monetizing its operations. Though it definitively shot down the idea of running advertisements directly, The Wall Street Journal suggests that Twitter is looking for a way to charge companies, entrepreneurs or other personalities for that currently advertise by way of tweets. I’m a big proponent of a such a model; though charging tweeters for sneaky personal advertising might be complicated, it could cut down on the disguised spam that clogs up my stream.
Ultimately, Twitter made a very mature and wise decision to turn away the worldly wiles of Facebook. Perhaps, as the Twitter team suggested, a later union could be viable and positive for both platforms. Right now, I think it’s safe to say that enduring the occasional platform hiccup is more appealing than allowing the platform to be disfigured, abused or murdered.