Without a doubt, Twitter was one of the success stories on the Web in 2007 as geeks around the world embraced the ability to communicate (and I use that word rather loosely) in 140-character bursts.
Putting the aside Twitter’s addictive-ness and utility (or lack thereof), an interesting question is whether Twitter is a stand-alone business or a service looking for a home.
The former seems difficult to envision given mobile advertising seems to be taking its sweet time to gain momentum, even though there are reports the global mobile ad market could hit $3-billion this year. And it’s hard to believe Twitter users will enthusiastically accept advertising as they pound away on their 140-character missives.
So leaves Twitter as a venture-backed M&A play looking for the right deal. Perhaps the most obvious candidate to buy Twitter is Facebook, which has an increasingly popular messaging platform that many people are using instead of e-mail. The addition of Twitter into this message system would provide a user-friendly mobile service to Facebook’s 58 million users.
As important, it would also give Facebook some much-needed strategic cache in the wake of the Beacon disaster. With $250-million of Microsoft cash in the bank, it is expected that Facebook will be making acquisitions this year so why not kick-start the process with the purchase of a high-profile start-up with a group of investors that includes Union Square Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Marc Andreessen, Dick Costolo, Ron Conway, and Naval Ravikant.
Twitter will be acquired this year; the question is who the buyer will be, and, from here, Facebook looks like the obvious choice.
Update II: Maybe Facebook will buy Plaxo, suggests ValleyWag.