Google’s Brin clears the air (sort of) on Twitter
Before this week’s dueling Google and Microsoft search licensing deals with Twitter, a recurring rumor in Silicon Valley had Google trying to buy Twitter outright.
So when Google co-founder Sergey Brin made a surprise appearance at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, the stage was set to finally put the record straight.
Showing that ten years in the media spotlight have not been wasted on him however, Brin displayed a deft command of language to duck the question.
Web 2.0 organizer John Battelle: Did you try to buy Twitter?
Brin: I did not try to buy Twitter.
Brin then added, “But if companies approach us we definitely consider any opportunities to buy.” But the resultant ambiguity about whether Brin was speaking about himself personally, or Google, effectively left the question unanswered. Nicely played.
Meanwhile, the list of Internet giants partnering with Twitter came close to growing to three companies, after AOL CEO Tim Armstrong opined about the role of real time data at AOL during his talk.
“I think those guys have done something very impactful,” Armstrong said of Twitter. “And if it works with our platforms and we can leverage it, I think we would be happy to do that.”
Armstrong offered a couple of other interesting tidbits, saying that AOL was in a good position to proceed with its plan to eject from the Time Warner mothership and saying that a guaranteed AOL spin-off was not a precondition of him taking the job at AOL.
He also hinted at a mysterious new content technology platform that he said AOL has been developing internally since this summer, and which would provide a “secret sauce” to the company’s variety of media properties.
“It’s a broader platform with more information around content and the creation of content,” Armstrong said.
Another answer with plenty of ambiguity, but in this case, more details will likely come soon.