Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Mark Zuckerberg Talks Twitter With John Battelle (When He Was Talking to Twitter About Buying It)

Here’s the video of Web 2.0 Summit host John Battelle interviewing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a few weeks ago, in which Battelle floated a rumor that the social-networking site might be interested in buying Twitter.

If you want to see the exchange, it starts at 22:15 minutes, when Battelle asks: “Is Twitter just a feature of Facebook?”

Awkwardness ensues from there until 23:07 minutes, with no direct question about an actual acquisition effort asked.

Thus, Zuckerberg does not have to fib in front of the Web 2.0 crowd about talks that were just then winding down between Twitter and Facebook, which offered $500 million in its stock to buy the popular microblogging site.

Actually, sources said, while Zuckerberg and Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Evan Williams did meet and get along well, the deal was primarily negotiated by Spark Capital partner Bijan Sabet (Spark is a Twitter investor) and Facebook deal guy Dan Rose.

But, in the end, as BoomTown reported earlier today in a detailed report on the failed deal, Twitter rejected that bid.

As is usually the case, the deal broke down over price–was $500 million worth of Facebook stock actually worth $500 million?–and the typical concerns about integration and costs. Also, Twitter wanted an all-cash deal.

But, more important was a feeling among Twitter investors and execs that the start-up should still take a shot at building its revenues–there are none right now–as well as it had done at building its growth.

In fact, Twitter’s fast growth in the “status update” arena has been a frustration to Facebook, some sources said, although Zuckerberg goes out of his way to compliment Twitter in the video below:

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”