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Linda Thomas

Microsoft and Twitter rumor spreads

When you're the CEO of major company you can't have a casual breakfast without someone noticing, especially if the toast, eggs and coffee are shared with the CEO of a another world-wide company.

twitter-logoThe blogosphere is buzzing with rumors that Microsoft might be interested in Twitter. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was seen having breakfast with Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo in San Francisco. Costolo recently took over the CEO spot from co-founder Evan Williams. Wish I could have been a pat of butter on the table at that meeting last week.

Timing of that breakfast was interesting because it came just a few days after Microsoft admitted, yeah, they tried to buy Facebook for $15 billion back in 2007. Mark Zuckerberg didn't go for it. Smart man. Facebook is valued at between $35 billion and $60 billion today.

The theory now is that Microsoft is interested in grabbing the next big thing in social media. In typical large company fashion, they're discovering it about a year after it became the next big thing.

I have not seen a lot of evidence that Microsoft really understands Twitter. Microsoft this year started including Twitter for its Bing searches after Google did it first. Windows phone 7 does not provide any built-in integration with the social network.

Microsoft, as a company, isn't as involved or engaging on Twitter as other large businesses including: Starbucks; Home Depot; Southwest Airlines and Comcast. Those are just a few examples of the big companies that "get it" with social media. Starbucks, for example, has over 1.1 million Twitter followers. Microsoft's consumer page has about 7,400.

A couple of interesting findings about Twitter that will appeal to those of you who think it's a waste of time. These are from a Pew study last week on Twitter usage. Here's a summary, and here's the full Pew research project.

  • Only 8% of American adults use Twitter. This is more evidence that, despite its enormous and its massive global user numbers, Twitter has yet to go mainstream like Facebook.
  • Half of Twitter users never read or pay attention to what anyone else tweets.

Even so, I love Twitter. Find me there as @TheNewsChick.

About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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