[Disclaimer: I do not work for Google or Twitter; I have no investments in Google or Twitter. ]
Update: 2016-09-25: Someone pointed out that a better title considering what I'm saying is, "Google should save Twitter as an act of charity".
Google should buy Twitter. (link to rumors here)
Twitter isn't a good "MBA runs the numbers" acquisition. However could be used as a showcase for GCE. It would more than justify itself. In fact, the financial losses might be off-set by the marketing value it provides to GCE.
As part of integrating it into the internal Google stack, they should require their engineers to rebuild it on the Google Cloud Engine platform. GCE scales crazy-good. Twitter has a history of scaling problems. If Google could run it on the Google Cloud Engine, and show that it scales, it would be great advertising.
Google needs GCE to succeed (but that's for another blog post... or you can read Appendix B ofhttp://the-cloud-book.com .. especially the last few paragraphs.)
How difficult would it be to rebuild Twitter on GCE? I think it would be easier than you'd imagine. Every talk I've seen by Twitter engineers at conferences is about technology that (and I don't mean this with any disrespect) is reproducing something in Google's stack. Most of those technologies being re-invented are available in GCE now, and the rest really should be. In fact, if they aren't available in GCE they should be. The project of porting Twitter to GCE would generate a list of high-quality feature requests. Interestingly enough, the re-invented technologies don't seem to be as scalable as Google's original. Oh, and it seems like a lot of people re-implementing those technologies at Twitter are ex-Google employee so ... you have that.
Sadly the few Google executives that I know think that Twitter is a joke, nobody uses it, and isn't worth saving. I disagree. I think it is "the world's chatroom". If you think Twitter "doesn't matter" then why does every news program, TV show, and billboard list a Twitter handle? (Hint: they don't list G+ handles... does G+ even have handles?)
So, in summary:
- Google should buy Twitter.
- It would help save this important resource that the world finds very useful.
- It would be the best showcase of GCE evah.... which is something Google needs more than the revenue of Twitter.
- Sadly Google executives dis Twitter as a niche application that a very small number of people find compelling. (Spoiler alert: I think they're wrong)
I wonder what will happen.
NOTE: This article was written by Thomas Limoncelli and included no involvement by current or past co-authors or friends.