Google to buy Twitter?

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Google is reported to be in late stage negotiations to buy Twitter, after a lot of speculation.

According to TechCrunch, two sources close to the negotiations have confirmed the talks between the companies, but have not confirmed the price.

The micro-blogging site reportedly turned down an offer from Facebook for $500 million (339 million) just a few months ago, so it is thought the offer will exceed that.

Twitter is often the subject of rumours. There has been speculation of advertising being introduced to the site and it did announce paid for business accounts last month, but both these moves have been widely criticised.

Google is an old hand at purchasing social networking sites with a like this after the acquisition of YouTube back in 2006. Indeed, like YouTube, a Twitter buy raises questions of how Google intends to make profit from the site.

Jeff Mann, an analyst at Gartner, said the culture and ambitions of the pair match. "Twitter founders sold Blogger to Google earlier and work on the same principle of build first, monetise later. Other tie-ins short of an acquisition could make sense, but would be harder to sustain since Twitter already uses such open interfaces."

He added: "Now is the time for Twitter to sell. It is at the top of its hype range now. Monetising on its own would be a long, hard slog."

Google declined to comment for this story and Twitter has yet to return our request for comment.

Click here to read our beginners' guide to Twitter for business.

Davey Winder has blogged his opinion on the possible Google/ Twitter acquisition here.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.