Thursday, October 22, 2009

Google Co-founder Sergey Brin Says He Did Not Try to Buy Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin said Google did not try to buy Twitter, casting off reports to that affect in a surprise visit onstage here at the Web 2.0 Summit Oct. 22.

Web 2.0 Summit Co-Host John Battelle asked Brin if Google tried to acquire Twitter, the microblogging with whom Google struck a deal with Oct. 21 to index Twitter tweets in real time on Google search results pages.

"I did not try to buy Twitter," Brin said, before adding a quixotic comment certain to be parsed to death in the blogosphere. "If companies approach us, we definitely consider any a opportunities."

Does that suggest that Twitter shopped itself to Google? Or was Brin answering that he personally did not try to buy the company. It's unclear.

Brin did say it was exciting to see Twitter CEO Evan Williams enjoy success twice in the Internet sector. Williams founded Pyra Labs, which Googleacquired for its Blogger assets in 2005.

"To see him... succeed even more dramatically a second time, I think it reaffirmed a difference an entrpreneur can make to me," Brin said. Twitter's star is on the rise for sure. Google announced its deal with Twitter at the show hours after Microsoft executives said the Bing search engine would index real-time content from Twitter and Facebook.

The rest of the discussion was diverse, covering Brin's thoughts on Microsoft Bing, the search engine gunning for Google's 65 percent market share; Chrome for Mac; Google Book Search; and the alleged Google Phone.

First, the Bing discussion. Battelle asked Brin if he was a Bing user. Brin was characteristically noncommittal, noting that he uses a lot of search engines out there and that Bing reminds "us that search is a very competitive market. There are many interesting companies out there."

He pointed to Bing, Powerset, which Microsoft acquired as the semantic search engine to power Bing and Cuil. He said Microsoft Live Search had a lot of nice features that Bing brought with it.


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