It's been a great day for Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report and its investors. The social media micro-blogging pioneer is watching its shares tick higher today as speculation about a potential takeover swirls. Since yesterday's close, Twitter shares have risen by more than 20%.
It's a sharp turnaround for a company that has been beleaguered lately. During the last year, the stock's value has cratered by more than 50%. Concerns over the company's lackluster turnaround efforts have sent many investors headed for the door. That's not to mention the fact that the company has yet to turn a profit, despite growing revenues.
However, with more than 300 million monthly active users, Twitter is still apparently a tasty takeover target.
Back in June, Twitter shares received a boost when tech giant Microsoft scooped up business-networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Like Twitter, LinkedIn is a popular social media service suffering from monetization difficulties.
At the time, analysts and investors started rampantly speculating that the same might happen for Twitter. After all, the LinkedIn deal showed the importance of social media companies whose products are in demand despite not bringing in heaps of cash. But nothing occurred, and the rumors started to die down.
However, today a new report suggests that Twitter is undergoing acquisition discussions with Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report , Google's parent, and Salesforce (CRM) - Get Report , a company that specializes in customer relationship management.
Although there is no imminent deal yet, a bid from one of the companies as well as an acquisition agreement could come as soon as the end of the year.
Why would these tech majors consider purchasing the beleaguered and unprofitable social networking company? Twitter's true value lies in the massive amounts of data it gathers and stores about its users. According to a study by Pew Research, roughly 62% of American adults get their news from social media, rather than newspapers or television. And since by its very nature Twitter is the most current events-focused of the bunch, it would stand to reason that this company would be among the most valuable. Essentially, Twitter is a database of popular thought.
But Twitter has proven itself incapable of doing anything worthwhile with this valuable resource.
Toward the end of 2015, Twitter took on co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO (Dorsey is also the CEO for Square). At the time, analysts expressed high hopes that Dorsey would be able to turn the company around.
But so far, a major improvement hasn't been forthcoming. And celebrities -- who are Twitter's most valuable users -- are beginning to switch to other social media sites such as Facebook's (FB) - Get Report Instagram for maintaining their public personas.
Twitter is becoming a ticking time bomb. And unless a merger with a larger company such as Alphabet or Salesforce takes place, the site is likely to go the way of Myspace.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.