It was only a matter of time. Google has given itself Web2.0rhea.
Yesterday, the world's largest ad broker finally launched a Twitter account, intent on spraying world+dog with an endless stream of self-serving mini-messages.
It's first sub-140-character spew: "I'm 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010."
Apparently, this is geek speak for "I'm Feeling Lucky."
The Mountain View Chocolate Factory then proceeded to unload micro-boggy mentions of its updated Google toolbar, a brand-new Google Apps dashboard, some Google Labs "tips and tricks," and the fresh prices over at Google App Engine.
This self-infection comes just weeks after Google said it would cease development on Jaiku, the Web2.0rhea service it purchased for $12 million as recently as October 2007.
Twitter is still an independent operation. Earlier this month, amidst an ever-melting worldwide economy, the company was force-fed $35 million in venture capital. At least two VC firms are sure the microbogging outfit will end up pulling in scads of money - even though it has no source of revenue and has yet to explain how it will find one.
The assumption is that the ridiculously popular service will soon be purchased by, well, Google. With a blog post earlier yesterday, über-Google watcher John Battelle dubbed Twitter the second coming of YouTube.
"YouTube was the single fastest-growing new form of search on the Web, and Google pretty much outflanked (and outspent) everyone to buy it. Not to get into video monetization, per se, but to harvest and control the most important emerging form of search. In short, Google could not afford to NOT own YouTube," he insists.
"So, fast forward to today. What's the most important and quickly growing form of search on the web today? Real time, conversational search. And who's the YouTube of real time search? Yep. Twitter."
Uh, OK. But what's the point of harvesting and controlling a search engine unless you eventually monetize it? If you don't monetize it, all it does is lose you large amounts of money. Google still hasn't figured out how to make serious money on YouTube. And if it can't work its online-advertising magic there, how can it possibly squeeze ads into 140-character fragments of drivel?
The good news for anyone interesting in buying Twitter is that it doesn't cost nearly as much to maintain as YouTube. But it still burns cash - particularly when you text message your Web2.0rhea. ®