ADOTAS – Dammit, Twitter, stop being such a tease — are you on the market or what? Cofounder Biz Stone said you have no intention of selling a few months ago but now The Wall Street Journal reports low-level talks with potential suitors such as Google and Facebook.
Granted, Stone said the business wouldn’t sell for $4 billion or $5 billion all the way back in November and the figures being touted now are double that — between $8 billion and $10 billion.
If people were dumbfounded by a $3 million valuation for Twitter, an eleven-figure price tag may make many faint in shock. The microblogger’s 2010 revenue was $45 million (and it lost money because of expenses related to hiring and facilities) and estimates for this year range from $100 million to $150 million.
Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal comments that if Twitter, making $100 million in 2011 revenue, is sold for $10 billion, that means valuation is 100 times revenue.
Acquisition rumors have placed talk of a social media bubble back on the front burner, with WSJ’s Deal Journal calling Twitter a “tech bubble barometer”: “At $10 billion, Twitter is valued at $105 for each of the 95 million tweets its users write every day,” writes Shira Ovide.
Right before Twitter closed a $200 million funding round, Pew Research Center estimates that only 8% of U.S. Internet users are regular tweeters (and most of them are narcissistic bastards). However global growth continues to rocket — Twitter just added Korean as its seventh language.
Twitter thinks it can churn its valuation up to $100 billion. It’s a badly kept secret that Dick Costolo was given the CEO’s chair to turn Twitter into a revenue machine. VP of Revenue Adam Bain has built a 20 person salesforce since joining the microblogger in August.
Business Insider’s Henry Blodgett, who has long urged Google to buy Twitter, comments, “If Twitter would actually sell for $10 billion, Google should just step up and buy it… The company would barely miss the cash, and Twitter would actually put it on the map in social media.”
Yes, Google would snatch it in a heartbeat, no concerns about kill fees, if Twitter would sell. How much you want to bet these low-level talks never go a step higher — that, yes, Twitter is merely a tease with a long-term agenda?