Twitter Buys Summize For $15 Million

    July 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

The not-so-quiet rumors circulating last week about Twitter buying social search engine Summize are no longer rumors but are confirmed. Twitter founder Biz Stone confirmed it on his blog today, and one report has the deal valued at $15 million in cash and stock.

Two surprises there:

1.    $15 million is exactly what Twitter just secured in its latest round of financing.
2.    Twitter has stock.

All things considered, Silicon Alley Insider says that values Twitter as a $100 million company, despite nearly crippling technical problems and no prior business model. Summize, though, swings that business model door wide open though. American Twitterers would have surely revolted if bombarded with ads on every tweet, but are definitely used to being pitched via search results.

And yes, search is lucrative, in case you missed that.

This all means Twitter has pulled off quite the feat. First, securing funding has been difficult lately as venture capitalists go cold, but maybe the buzz around Twitter was enough to carry some gimme-some-money clout. Second, if securing funding in an uncertain climate weren’t enough, Twitter snatched victory from the jaws of technological defeat and reversed its downward trend in record time.

We think they can thank their API for that. Without it, services that suddenly helped Twitter make sense—like Summize and yes, our Twellow—wouldn’t have existed.

Stone framed his announcement like a love story, detailing Twitter’s "special date in New York City" with the Fab Five Summize engineers at the Shake Shack, where they "spent some quality time." Stone said meeting was a formality, as Twitter was already "in love" with Summize and its engineers.

"There is an undeniable need to search, filter, and otherwise interact with the volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second," writes Stone. "We will be adding search and its related features to the core offering of Twitter in the very near future."

Stone didn’t waste anytime updating the Summize webpage either, which now resolves to, and is officially Twitter Search.