One year after Jack Dorsey returned as CEO’s Twitter, the company is entertaining a sale to a larger entity, according to a recent Bloomberg feature. Growth has stagnated as the company has struggled to attract new users, despite new broadcasting rights for popular programming. Twitter may not have been trying to upend television, but acquiring the rights to broadcast programming such as Thursday Night Football and the US Presidential debates were definitely seen as a bright spot for the struggling company.
Potential suitors include Microsoft, Google, and Disney. The latter has been internally touted as the best option. Twitter got the rights to broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games at a steal— for $10 million. If live sports broadcasting does hold popularity, acquisition by Disney would make sense, considering the company does own a majority stake in popular sports broadcasting company ESPN.
In 2013, when Twitter went public, the platform was among the top choices for advertisers. But in those three short years, Snapchat and Instagram have been show stoppers for brands. Snapchat may have begun as a secret messaging app, but brands have been quick to capitalize on the quirky potential of the app, and things began to heat up when the company introduced “Stories” and specific brand channels. Facebook-owned Instagram has also demonstrated tremendous growth, and in recent month become more friendly as an advertising platform.
With the return of Dorsey, Twitter has begun to seek answers to slightly more existential questions. As the Bloomberg feature notes, his leadership has actually left a (productive) “void in management” that has been filled by CFO Anthony Noto. Noto, a former Goldman Sachs employee, helped Twitter go public. Now, Twitter is hoping he’ll use his expertise to facilitate a sale.
However, keep in mind that talks of sale have not officially begun. But the prospect is definitely real, as the exploratory phase has been approved by the board.