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Twitter in Google, Facebook crosshairs

Twitter valued at $8-$10bn as IT giants eye up acquisition possibilities

Twitter in Google, Facebook crosshairs
Twitter has been valued at between $8bn and $10bn as Google and Facebook look at acquiring the company.

Twitter has been valued at between $8bn to $10bn as both Facebook and Google hold low-level talks with Twitter to explore the possibility of an acquisition, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Twitter has declined to comment on its finances, valuations and interest by other companies. Both Google and Facebook have also declined to comment.

In December, Twitter raised $200m in new venture capital and was valued at $3.7bn. Twitter also started selling adverts in 2010 for its business of allowing users to send messages of no more than 140 characters. The ad service, called Promoted Trends, has been selling out every day, according to reports.

Two other ad products, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, are also doing brisk business.

Since Twitter's last valuation, Facebook has raised $1.5 billion in a financing that valued the social network at five times its value of $10bn in 2009, and recently, AOL agreed to purchase the Huffington Post for $315 million, ten times the website's 2010 revenue.

These rich valuations reflect a growing trend among entrepreneurs who are opting to remain independent and grow their businesses instead of selling early for quick returns.

Both Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and chief executive Dick Costolo have already sold companies to Google.

Twitter's executives and board are currently working on building the company into a large independent entity and have increased their workforce from 100 in January 2010, to 350 now.

The company has also been focusing on building up their executive team, hiring former Google executive Costolo as CEO last year.

Twitter has also hired a former Fox Interactive Media president, Adam Bain, to be its president of global sales.

According to reports, Google and Facebook have both discussed buying Twitter in the past and have kept their lines of communication open.

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