There’s been a lot of hopeful jibber-jabber from Twitter Inc (TWTR) shareholders over the last year or so about which one of the big Silicon Valley titans will inevitably acquire the company. Alphabet Inc (GOOG, GOOGL) is the most prominently mentioned buyer.
Sometimes, investors get caught up daydreaming and ignore reality. Before they know it, their favorite stock is down 40%.
Such is the case of the hopeful Twitter stock speculator, hoping for some other Silicon Valley giant to swoop in and buy the company for a premium.
That’s not gonna happen, and, if it does happen, it sure as hell won’t be Google. Here’s why I’m so confident:
GOOG Is Going Real-Time
As much as I’m a card-carrying hater of Twitter stock, I must admit, it has something that Google doesn’t: a live-stream of other user-generated data that you can interact with, respond to, make fun of, whatever.
In fact, that’s one of the reasons Twitter stock holders, in their delirium, suggest GOOG should buy the social media company. Not only does Google get more than 300 million monthly active users, it gets data on those users, allowing Google to better target advertisements and compete with Facebook, which is gobbling up an ever-larger percentage of online ad dollars.
Well, Google doesn’t need to buy TWTR for that — it can do this largely on its own. Hoping to get a greater percentage of politically minded individuals on its site during debates, GOOG is rolling out a new feature for Thursday’s GOP debate, the last before the Iowa caucus.
Google struck a deal with Fox, so when users search “Fox News debate” starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, they’ll be greeted with a series of candidate “cards” portraying each candidate’s platform and views. Instead of taking to Twitter to see what people are saying about the debate, users will be able to see real-time rebuttals and clarifications from campaigns as the debate rages on.
And instead of 140 characters, each candidate will be allotted 14,400 characters, as well as a total of 10 photos and videos. GOOG will also feature live data from Google Trends on some of the trending searches during the debate, as well as a minute-by-minute update on the most-searched candidates.
So how exactly is this a blow to TWTR? Well, not only is Google doing its own real-time thing, it’s using its renewed deal with Twitter from last year to feature tweets from candidates, and relevant tweets about what’s going on in the debate.
As it turns out, licensing data from Twitter is much less expensive than buying the $11.6 billion company at a premium. TWTR could drop another 50% and Google still wouldn’t touch it. Hell, before last year’s renewed deal, GOOG went four full years without licensing Twitter’s data. How invaluable can it actually be?
At the end of the day, it always pays for investors to be honest and realistic with themselves. And the honest truth is: Google doesn’t need Twitter. No one needs Twitter.
When all the speculators come to their senses and get out of the stock, it’ll be even lower than it is today.
As of this writing, John Divine was long AAPL stock. You can follow him on Twitter at @divinebizkid or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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