Salesforce is reportedly considering purchasing Twitter in a move that would give the software company access to the huge amount of data generated by the social network and could help fuel its push to develop artificial intelligence.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, has grown his 17-year-old company to compete against Microsoft, Oracle and other big players in the field. Lately, the company has acquired a number of startups working in e-commerce and artificial intelligence. Talks between Twitter and Salesforce are said to be at an early stage but an acquisition could end up helping both companies.
Twitter's shares rose by 21 per cent to $22.62 on Friday after it was reported that a sale to Salesforce could be in the works. The social network's stock has fallen 30 per cent over the past year and its market value has declined to $13 billion which is significantly lower than its all-time high of $40.7 billion in December 2013.
The interest that Salesforce has shown in taking over Twitter has also helped shift the way the company is seen from one in constant turmoil, to one which could be very valuable to any number of Silicon Valley companies that could utilise its monthly user base of 313 million accounts and the vast amount of data it generates.
Salesforce and Twitter have worked together closely since June 2012 when the two companies formed an alliance which gave Salesforce access to all of Twitter's public tweets. This helped the company gain valuable insight and learn more about its customers.
If Twitter is acquired by another company, as LinkedIn was by Microsoft, Salesforce could lose access to the company's data. This data has already been put to good use by Salesforce in its new artificial intelligence effort called Einstein that was unveiled last week.
If the company intends to further develop Einstein and really sees AI as its future than acquiring Twitter may just be the right move for both companies.
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