Late last night Michael Arrington posted a rumor claiming to have three sources (unnamed of course) that say Google is in talks to acquire Twitter.
Twitter has already turned down an offer from Facebook for $500 million, but most (if not all) of the money that Facebook would pay to Twitter would be in the form of obviously overvalued Facebook stock. Google on the other hand would pay in cash and/or publicly valued stock.
This would be a good buy for Google, especially with the growth of Twitter over the past few months, it is going to be an incredibly popular service very soon. Biz Stone and Evan Williams have already sold one company to Google, Blogger, and it seems logical to believe they would at least be in talks about an acquisition.
But, I don’t believe this would be a good move for Twitter. Twitter appears to be one of those companies that is going to be vital to communication in just a couple of years (it is already vital for some of us) and the value will only go up. What worries me most is that Google had already purchased a similar service (Jaiku) that they haven’t done much with. The purchase of Twitter by Google would give Biz and Evan a great payout but I think that Google would eventually be a detriment to the service.
I know that Google is search and Twitter is incredibly valuable as a search related asset but I would much rather see Google do a search deal with Twitter and build a business relationship in that way than see Google buy the company outright. Doing a search deal would help both companies make money without giving Google too much control.
The original creators of a service are really the best ones at steering the ship, giving Google too much control would end up with too many bad decisions being made, as is the case with most web acquisitions, even ones done by Google.