Microsoft, Twitter Breakfast Starts Rumors Of Merger

The CEOs of Microsoft and Twitter had breakfast Friday morning starting the rumor mills of what impact a merger of the two companies could have on the web and the search industry.

The nature of Steve Balmer and Dick Costolo's "discussion wasn't known, but the two companies have both declined comment, hinting that it was business and not simply a personal discussion. It's unknown by the Forbes witness how often the two have met," Electronicista reported.

Acquisition, search partnership deal, or some other joint venture are options. The Twitter CEO had previously worked at Google as an advertising product manager and may have some of the "popular gripes - too much bureaucracy, poor management, poor mentoring, and a hiring process that took months".

Microsoft has been interested in Twitter for some time and their integration of it in the Xbox 360 Dashboard and some of their mobile hardware may be a deal sweetener. That Google has access to the API and is using in search would only make Microsoft more eager - and Bing would be a good fit with its decision engine approach.

Given Twitter "has only just recently been generating revenue through sponsored trends and updates, and it may be looking to get financial security," Electronicista noted.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.