Is Facebook Buying Twitter? Here Are Some Hints

In a recent survey Facebook asked users questions pertaining to Twitter, and only about Twitter, creating suspense on why Mark Zuckerberg is so interested in the Jack Dorsey firm


Facebook, of late, seems to have grown fascination for Twitter, once again. And if I analyze one recent incident, it compels me to believe that Mark Zuckerberg is surely up to something – something really big. And I’m not saying he’s buying Jack Dorsey’s little bird, nor I’m denying it.

Last week Facebook offered a survey for its users, including me, on its mobile platform (I didn’t notice it on PC version). Typical to any other survey, it wanted users’ feedback, and I thought it must be seeking feedback on improving the user experience. However, the survey was not at all about ‘Facebook’. The survey, Facebook estimated would not take more than 5 minutes, asked information about other social media apps like LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Instagram etc.
The first two questions were generic. The first question was ‘Do you know about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Snapchat, Linkedin?’. And it had names of some other social networking apps I do not recall now. The second question was ‘Tick mark the apps that you have used in the past month’. These two questions did not invoke any excitement. The real game started there after, from question #3.


The Facebook survey, all of a sudden, put its entire focus on Twitter. It asked, ‘What is your overall opinion of Twitter?’ with answers like ‘Very favourable’ ‘somewhat favourable’ ‘unfavourable’ and ‘very unfavourable’.

Then, the next 10 questions (all of them) were only on Twitter, and the survey ended with a question that appeared sarcastic to me, ‘Is Twitter good for the world?’.


If one looks at all the questions, and the related answer options, it surely tells something about the Zuckerberg’s firm’s intention. And the intention is not to find the best ‘user experience’ from Twitter platform that can be implemented in Facebook.

Why Facebook May Buy Twitter

There have been some really big ticket acquisitions happened in the global technology world in the past six months. Some of the big names in the tech field, in one way or the other, got involved in some kind of M&A. Dell got hold of EMC for $67 billion, Microsoft acquires professional social networking site LinkedIn for close to $27 billion, Softbank acquiring ARM Holdings for $32 billion, and then next, and fresh, Verizon acquires Yahoo for peanuts!

If there are two really big names in the global technology field who have not bought or acquired anything recently, then they are Google and Facebook. No, I’m not saying because everyone is buying something is a reason for the latter two firms to go hunting for some potential products. But there are some logic for them to go for one – for Twitter.

However, I discard Google from this race. The search firm is too busy in its own products (problems) like driver-less cars, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Though there are synergies for both Google and Facebook to add Twitter to their core product portfolio, it makes more sense for the latter.

Facebook, like Google, does not have one thing that Twitter has – realtime marketing platform, that gives the Jack Dorsey firm an advantage in selling information on real time. For quite a long time now, Facebook is trying to build that kind of platform, for example its Sports Stadium. This platform intends to share real time sports content to sports fans. Twitter is already doing this, and that too with grace! Acquiring Twitter makes perfect sense for Facebook.

The current survey, perhaps, is aimed at acquiring public feedback that would clear Zuckerberg’s doubt whether to go for the kill or not. He, for sure, remembers two of his earlier failed attempts in acquiring Twitter, and the one attempt when he wanted to hire Jack Dorsey. Acquiring Twitter would settle everything for once, and all.

Gyana Ranjan Swain

Gyana Swain has been tracking the technology industry for over 15 years. A business journalist turned entrepreneur, he has founded two news portals- TeleAnalysis and M2MCafe.

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