It would have been the Tech story of the year but for now at least, a Twitter-Facebook hook-up is not going to happen.
Talks between the social network and the microblogging service began soon after Evan Williams became Twitter’s chief executive in mid-October, according to Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times. But they concluded abruptly after Williams rejected Facebook’s$500 million largely stock offer.
It is the right time for Twitter to try making money, something it has not done yet despite its fantastic brand, 6 million registered users and $20 million in VC cash.
That’s not going to cut it during our economic crisis or as Williams put it, “I don’t want to have to raise money in 2009.”
Williams told the Times he wants to avoid an ad-based model and instead convince companies that use his site to interact with customers to pay for the privilege. Dell, JetBlue, CNN, Whole Foods and others use Twitter this way.
Williams might have to buy a suit to pull this off since he candidly admits, “We have no business people in the company, so this isn’t an area we’re focused on.”
Meanwhile, there’s competition from Yammer, a microblogging service for use by companies that started making money the day it went live, and old-school giants like Microsoft and Yahoo might enter the space.
But Williams remains undaunted. Twitter is after all just a 2 year-old company with 25 employees. “Give us a minute,” he pleaded.