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Google in talks to buy Twitter
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The world's largest search engine company Google Inc is rumoured to be in talks to buy the world's largest micro-blogging site Twitter.com.

California-based Twitter.com offers an SMS-based service that allows people to send short text messages to a network of friends.

The acquisition may help Google in augmenting its advertising and social networking platform as many large corporates use Twitter for advertising for jobs and selling products. The talks between the two companies is still in an early stage.

"The two companies (Google and Twitter) are also considering working together on a Google real time search engine. The discussions between the companies are confirmed," sources said.

Google and Twitter, however, denied to comment on the issue. It's interesting to note that Twitter had turned down Facebook's buyout offer just a few months ago for about $ 500 million.

Large Businesses like Cisco, Jet Blue, Sun Microsystems, IBM and Whole Foods Market already use Twitter to provide product or service information. According to the service, users can send and read updates from friends known as tweets via SMS.

Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters. Twitter at present has SMS short codes for the US, Canada and India. In India, Twitter uses the short code 5566511. Richard Branson has a Twitter account and advertises jobs for Virgin on the same.

In India, large Twitter use came to light recently during the Mumbai terror attacks. Victims and eyewitnesses sent about 80 tweets every five seconds as the attacks unfolded in Mumbai, last year.

However, the California-based company which has about 5-6 million users globally is yet to make substantial money. Buyout of Twitter may help Google strengthen its play in the social networking arena thus beating players like Facebook and MySpace. It may also combine Tweets with Orkut scraps to create another dimension in social networking via SMS.

The platform may give Google huge advantage in terms of local ad listings thereby strengthening its local plays in India, the UK, the US and Canada.

Combined with Android, Twitter, Gmail, Orkut and search for mobile, Google might develop a strong mobile play, unrivalled by any of its competitors like Microsoft or Yahoo. Will Twitter blink, only time will tell.

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