Last year, rumors surfaced multiple times that Google was in talks to purchase Twitter for a hefty sum. Ultimately it was clear that, even if they were entertaining offers, Twitter decided not to sell. The last time the rumor came up was in December, at LeWeb 2009, when Google CEO Eric Schmidt didn't exactly deny the rumors, saying instead that, "There have been no announcements." And then Google goes and releases Buzz, fewer than three months after the non-denial at LeWeb. I'm beginning to think it's Google's way of saying, "Ok, Twitter, you don't want us to pay you half a billion dollars for your little company? Watch how long it takes us to build the same thing from scratch."
Ok, so maybe this is a bit of a conspiracy theory, but why would Google have been in talks with Twitter if they'd been developing this for more than three months? While it's possible that those acquisition rumors weren't true, to me it's far more possible that when Twitter refused to sell, Google just decided to show them up and build the same thing from scratch in a couple of months. You have to admit--the only thing hard about building a Twitter clone is scaling up to huge numbers of users. And, well, Google knows how to do that.
Bradley Horowitz, VP of product management at Google, recently told EWeek that the product was not meant to be a Twitter killer, but rather a complementary service. Do you believe him?
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