Since Twitter first got started, it was never clear how the service planned on making enough money to keep its lights on. Even Twitter didn't know what they were doing. After rounds of investment and an IPO, they are still working that concept out. While Twitter might not know how to generate profit, some other companies have some ideas how it might be valuable.
Twitter's board of directors could be considering a sale of the company to one of several other corporations. It is likely that these suitors have plans for the company and most likely the data that Twitter generates. If ever a company wanted to collect information, for any number of reasons, Twitter could be a great source. Let's take a look at who these suitors are, and why they might be interested.
Google's participation in social networking has been questionable at best. Google+ has been almost entirely dismantled at this point, Google Wave imploded for day 1, and even YouTube has seen continued controversy. Google desperately wants live access to trending content data to enhance its own search data. With trending topic access at a level above public APIs, they could help tailor search results on a moment-to-moment basis. They could also integrate trending topics into YouTube and Google Search results pages to enhance cross-data.
While Microsoft could be interested in similar features as Google, including Bing search listings and trending search results, they likely have other intentions as well. Trending data could easily be used to pave the way for trending topic enhancement in MSN News, Weather and Sports. Twitter data and topics could also find their way into Azure in several new and interesting ways. First, an Azure-specific API through Azure Search could enhance developers usage of the technology, but that isn't even the best place for this data.
I would hope and expect that Microsoft would push Twitter data through Cortana's Natural Language Processing neural network, bringing enhanced language processing to Cortana herself. This would enhance recognition on Windows 10, Mobile, Xbox, HoloLens, and wherever else Microsoft is hoping to bring Cortana support. That could see extended uses for the technology that current users already love.
Twitter could also be an interesting acquisition for Microsoft because of their recent acquisition of LinkedIn. This would put 2 of the 4 main social networks within the Microsoft camp, leaving Facebook/Instagram and Snapchat as the other collectives.
A telecom company purchasing a social media company makes sense. Verizon purchasing a social media company makes even more sense. Marissa Mayer purchased Tumblr in an attempt to mine data to enhance their news portal. Similar to Microsoft's potential usage of Twitter for MSN, Verizon could use trending Twitter data to help shape the content available on their newly acquired media platforms: AOL and Yahoo.
This could be the exact push that Yahoo has needed and that Mayer always wanted. It could also be the thing that brings the AOL brand back to the forefront, and an enhancement for brands like Engadget.
While initially this one had me a little stumped, I can see some places where Salesforce could use Twitter. Trending data could be used to enhance corporate communication, especially for sales people to help create communications that are completely modern. A communication could also be made as information begins to appear in the public. Imagine a company like General Electric who has a secret project in the works and Salesforce is able to detect for their press department that the codename is beginning to circulate on social media. The PR team could then react ahead of time, letting them get out ahead of the story instead of reacting only after it has become a real story.