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01.07.11

The Relationship Between Microsoft and Twitter (Possibly Takeover) Keeps Identi.ca Strong

Posted in Microsoft at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer as a bird

Summary: Rumours of a Microsoft acquisition of Twitter are the result of meeting/s between their respective CEOs; Microsoft already pays Twitter for promotion

FOR THOSE who do not know this yet, Twitter monetises the platform with a(n anti-)feature called “Promoted”. In simple terms, it means that companies/people/accounts can pay Twitter to have their output ‘promoted’ in more pages, which violates the natural synthesis of the site/platform.

Microsoft is of course one of those companies which pay Twitter to have its account promoted. Several of us Free software enthusiasts have reported in recent weeks that Microsoft is being ‘promoted’ to us. It is not pleasant, especially if this is something which Microsoft pays Twitter to do and Twitter also accepts. It disregards the users. And speaking of Twitter, Microsoft has a real crisis in the platform’s natural content. “Research In Motion Beats out Microsoft on Twitter” says this report.

Top 10 Companies on Twitter for 2010:

1. Apple
2. Google
3. Twitter
4. Uniqlo
5. Research In Motion
6. Microsoft
7. Facebook
8. Nintendo
9. Sony
10. BBC

As we explained before, Microsoft had begun AstroTurfing in Twitter. To recap, here are some posts on the subject:

Users of Twitter may wish to watch out because Microsoft and Twitter CEOs are allegedly having breakfast: “Microsoft and Twitter CEOs, Steve Ballmer and Dick Costolo are said to have been seen taking breakfast together and this sparked rumors that a possible takeover of Twitter by Microsoft or another deal would be imminent. There are no clues about the nature of that discussion, but both companies have refused to comment, hinting to business and not personal discussion. It is also unknown how frequently the two CEOs have met.”

This is not some isolated rumour. In the previous post we showed how Microsoft tried to buy Facebook and new articles about the possibility that Microsoft would like to buy Twitter are aplenty [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. It was the same when Adobe’s CEO met Ballmer. People hastily jumped to the conclusion that takeover was negotiated (or at least a partnership) but in this case, an acquisition is not likely because Twitter previously expressed desire to be dissociated from Microsoft and its bad behaviour (in a leaked document/E-mail we covered here). Microsoft’s Twitter Astroturf will probably be sufficient for now. That, dear readers, is why at the very least as a safety net we recommend opening and using an Identi.ca account. More and more of us in Techrights and TechBytes are opening accounts there and mashing them up with IRC (the best of both worlds). Identi.ca is not dominated by companies and celebrities; in Identi.ca, ‘celebrities’ are users like Tim Berners-Lee and Free software is the main theme.

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