Google’s Brin clears the air (sort of) on Twitter

October 23, 2009

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.


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Twitter is a fad. Another waste of time and energy of an already lazy generation. Ugh.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Twitter buzz combined with Google search results are an interesting proposition for marketeers wanting to gauge the global pulse – just a fad or relevant?

If knowing how your product is actually being received and perceived I would say this is immensely important.

Question is, how different are Googles and Twitters results for key hot topics?

Does adding Twitter into the mix actually add value?  /world-view-20.html

Posted by Trevor Attridge | Report as abusive

The key words in this article are: “we can leverage it”.

Anybody can. The main thing is not to be leveraged by it, as too many people seem to be doing, in mesmerized submission.

“It” here being Twitter, which is, as Matt put it, a fad – and a presumptuous, silly-named one at that.

Posted by The Bell | Report as abusive

Twitter is bad icon on Facebbok. The Facebook is the best program.

Posted by Georgi Borisov | Report as abusive

Yesterday, everyone HAD to have a MySpace account and businesses jumped all over it thinking it was the marketing wave of the future. Then it was Facebook, companies jumped into that, but the way Facebook is set up, it’s harder for companies to target users for their advertisers. Twitter, yes, it’s another fad that companies are jumping all over thinking it’s the new marketing wave of the future. See a pattern here? As soon as it becomes “cool” for people to have, companies try to butt their way into it and the more marketing and spam they generate, the general user becomes uninterested. Facebook has it working because the companies trying to market there can’t just barge their way into the user’s experience. They can’t customize their Facebook page beyond the content and profile picture, so right there, it’s less annoying and obtrusive feeling. They only market to people who become their friend or a “fan” so people choose what companies they marketed to. Facebook, too, will someday succumb to the next “big thing” in social networking. It’s the way online user-generated content works, what’s popular today won’t be tomorrow, if you have the right idea with the right technology and proper ways of implementing it, social networking and media is the perfect “get rich quick” scheme. You create something that becomes HUGE (MySpace, for example) and then sell it and when it comes crashing back down, it’s not your problem, you already have the money from the sale of your tech.

Posted by Amy | Report as abusive