Twitter as a failed investment opportunity for Facebook

I was thrilled to hear this morning that negotiations for Facebook to acquire Twitter broke down some months ago.  Mashable have considered alternative investments for Facebook, but I think it’s much more interesting to consider who Twitter might wish to work with. To some extent, considering the financial crisis currently gripping the globe, it’s probably better for Twitter to stay alone, but in spite of some commentary declaring that Twitter should have accepted the deal with Facebok, I think it does make sense for Twitter to think strategically about a relevant partner down the track.  My gut feeling is that Twitter doesn’t need a Facebook-style partner.  Besides the fact that Facebook profits are down, Facebook is a decidedly desk-bound social network.  It’s designed for people at their PC, and is a one-stop-shop for details about the private lives of your friends.  As I’ve said before, Twitter is in many respects, the antithesis of Facebook.  It’s a decidedly mobile application, it requires low dedicated time investment, but much longer low-level engagement than Facebook, and its chief value as a information gathering mechanism is that it enables fast review by keywords and hashtags of specific search terms.  Given these characteristics, it doesn’t make sense for Twitter to engage with a vehicle such as Facebook.  Integration of the applications may be fine, but Twitter should really be considering means of capitalising on its mobile and viral status.  What Twitter doesn’t have is an ecommerce or file management option.  What it doesn’t have is good integration between services such as twitpic and the main platform.  What it doesn’t do is capitalise on all the amazing utilities like twittervision, twemes and tweetstats, to indicate what is of interest to the twitter community – a community I might add, that I see as vastly differing from that of Facebook.  What twitter hasn’t done properly is to consider how reputational impact and public opinion about ideas or brands can be measured in real time through twitter zeitgeist measurement.  I see an immense opportunity here to turn the desk-top oriented Twitter into a statistical and file management platform which differs strongly from Facebook, in capitalising on Twitter strengths in short, sharp indicators of public opinion.

That’s not a social network like Facebook.  That’s a social media measurement instrument.  And potential Twitter partners would be more valuable to the continued growth of Twitter if they come from media monitoring, file management and network analysis sectors.

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