Reading Biz Stone’s op-ed in the U.K.’s Sunday Times newspaper almost had me snoozing. Not that Biz is boring–he’s actually quite fascinating–but the article was just a recap of stuff we already knew. Then I saw these closing statements:
..It can be these things but primarily Twitter serves as a real-time information network powered by people around the world discovering what’s happening and sharing the news…In the new year, Twitter will begin supporting a billion search queries a day. We will be delivering several billion tweets per hour to users around the world…
Er, did he just say billion? With a "b"?
Does Google know about this? You don’t need to answer that, I know it knows. But seriously, Twitter’s serving 1 billion search queries a day–and it’s not even a search engine? No wonder Google (GOOG) and Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing rushed to sign partnership deals with the micro-blogging site. No wonder neither of them could find the right price to acquire the company!
According to recent estimates, Google is handling around 300,000 to 500,000 million searches a day–about half of what Biz boasts Twitter is seeing. And, let’s not forget, Google IS a search engine.
I can’t make up my mind the exact reason Biz slipped that into the piece. I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons.
One: Twitter just wanted to fire a warning shot across the bow of traditional search engines. Put them on notice, if you will.
Two: We’ll see a Twitter IPO in the next 12-18 months. Twitter has far more users than Google had when it went public. If it can reveal revenues anywhere close to $100 million a year, then I think investors will be tripping over themselves to buy in.