Love Me a Monopoly: Explaining a Twitter-Facebook Merger

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Based on the Twitter response to @TheStreet and @rocco_thestreet, a considerable number of people misunderstood Wednesday's Facebook and Twitter Should Merge article.

I'm used to being misunderstood. However, I could have been more clear.

The two companies should merge. Not the two platforms.

In fact, Twitter and Facebook, as we know them, would not change at all.

Both would continue on their current trajectories, run by the same upper-level management. Name Dick Costolo and Mark Zuckerberg co-CEOs of the combined company and division CEO or president at Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg assumes the same role at both segments.

Yes, this is a crazy idea, but it's a damn good one as well.

It's only crazy because it takes you out of your comfort zone and toys with dozens of egos inside the two companies. While that's enough reason for why it probably won't happen, it's no excuse.

No two companies complement one another better.

A merger is not about messing with either platform. Beyond some smart cross-promotion, nothing should change. It's all about creating efficiencies (I hate that word!) in sales and marketing.

This is hardly a foreign concept.

Think of Twitter as the alternative radio station that plays Mumford and Sons, Muse and The Lumineers. Facebook plays classic rock like Springsteen and Pearl Jam (yeah, that's classic rock now!).

Each "station" has different core and secondary audiences. There's some overlap. User behavior and engagement between the two social networks is distinct enough in many important areas.

Most importantly, Twitter and Facebook serve different purposes.

Zuckerberg has tried to explain this to us, and to General Motors ( GM).

Facebook builds brands. GM should not expect the platform to drive direct sales of motor vehicles. You don't post an ad on Facebook or even promote a Tweet that says, 50% off a Chevy Volt and expect the prospects to come in out of the rain.

As it dives deeper into e-commerce, Facebook generates impulse buys and, if successful, the type of online shopping you do at ( AMZN).

Through initiatives such as classified ads and promote your post for $7, it creates local communities within a massive global platform.

Families. Friends. Games.

That's Facebook, and that's powerful.

While Twitter can do some of most of the above, that's not its bag.

You can build a brand on Twitter, no doubt, but it delivers immediacy.

It's a much simpler and straightforward platform. Twitter really is the modern-day newspaper. It's a daily habit. It's the place a growing number of people go when news breaks.

Twitter, in association with advertisers, has only begun to scratch the surface on how to take advantage of this instantaneity, this relevancy.

When salespeople sit down with clients, they need to bring solutions.

It's so much easier to close a deal when you can tell a Proctor & Gamble ( PG), "Hey, listen, you're going to sell and market maxi pads differently than you do Duracell batteries and we have multiple options across Twitter and Facebook to put a smart and comprehensive package together."

There's no sense in having the Twitter people in one day, the Facebook people in the next, making a choice between the two or, worse yet, buying both in what ends up a disjunctive ad campaign.

I doubt they will, but Twitter and Facebook best serve themselves and one another by uniting on the advertising front. If it doesn't happen via merger, maybe a sales and marketing partnership makes more sense.

Don't worry about federal regulators.

How can they possibly stop a move between the two firms?

Mobile advertising is in its infancy. Beyond less than a dozen early adopters, we don't even know what other key players will rise in the space over the next several years.

If Google ( GOOG) can run roughshod over search, how can anybody, particularly horribly inconsistent regulators, balk at Twitter and Facebook making social ad buys more convenient and effective for companies in the Fortune 100 through small business?

A Twitter-Facebook union almost makes too much sense.

At the time of publication, the author had a position in FB.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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