The rumour mill has gone into overdrive on this one, with TechCrunch assuring readers that talks are at an advanced stage. Twitter rejected an offer from Facebook just a few months ago that valued the company at half a billion dollars, although this was partially based on what was seen as over-valued Facebook stock. A Google bid is likely to be mainly in cash.
So why would Google want Twitter? Search, of course! The volume of traffic on Twitter makes it the best source for live keyword searches. There are already third party applications that display Twitter keywords in a format similar to Google Trends, such as Twopular. But Google's own Hot Trends is still only available for the USA, so hardly global. By adding Google's search power to Twitter's increasing traffic will produce a more meaningful, and global, analysis of the hottest topics.
But why does everybody have to follow the latest buzz? This is somewhat like ambulance chasing for bloggers. Does nobody have an original idea any more? Well, as always, the money is in corporations. Big companies wishing to push their latest and greatest gift to humanity no longer need to wait for the slow world of search engines. Now they can employ a phalanx of social media sales people to promote their products on a variety of social websites, including Twitter. Product keywords can spread at the speed of tweets and, like instant coffee, they get an immediate media brew at a fraction of the cost of banner advertising.
So it all makes sense, giving credence to the rumours. Another step towards the digital world giving rise to granular thinking.