Google co-founders have been contemplating the acquisition of Twitter for nearly as long as the social site -- launched in July 2008 by co-founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass -- has been around.
Now Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin may get the chance. Bloomberg reports that Alphabet, Google's parent company, has hired Lazard Ltd. to evaluate the deal.
The acquisition would provide a long list of benefits to Google's advertisers that also use Twitter to run campaigns, as well as brands with strong search engine optimization strategies.
While the move doesn't mean a done deal, it's clear the Google co-founders have been contemplating its options, as they have for years.
Rumors of an acquisition began in 2009, but recently resurfaced after being dormant for years. "Twitter hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to solicit potential buyers after receiving interest from Salesforce, people familiar with the situation have said," reports Bloomberg. The social site has been trying to shape its business model, but its growth has stagnated for more than a year.
Google's relationship with Twitter continues to play out like an on-off love affair. The search engine inked a deal with the social site early on and then again in 2015, which provides a means for Google to pull in every real-time Twitter tweet into search engine results.
Social has not been one of Google's strongholds. In 2010, Google launched Buzz, a social networking microblogging site. The site provided a way for users to share photos and videos, messages and links. About a year later, it shuttered the tool.
Next came Google+ in 2011. The advanced HTML5 platform allowed users to drag-and-drop their friends, family, classmates, co-workers and other custom groups into social circles to share content. Video chat came along, too, but the site never really caught on.
"By 2014, Google+ underwent a series of leadership changes, followed by a massive redesign of the service," writes CB Insights in a post published late September 2016, as part of a list noting 23 of the biggest "Google Goofs."
"However, these moves failed to substantially enlarge the user base. Although Google+ is still in operation with an audience of about 111 million active users (compared to Facebook’s reported 1.7 billion monthly users), it’s hardly the first name that comes to mind when mentioning 'top' social networks," per CB Insights.
Twitter may be just what Google needs to finally build out its social strategy. And assistance from a former financial adviser could help.
"Lazard served as the financial adviser for Google’s $625 million takeover of software developer Apigee in September," according to Bloomberg.