$750m for Bebo, AOL could have had Twitter for much less at the time, maybe the same price or less today. If AOL scooped up Twitter today, it would probably be lauded as a coup.
Now, couple of points:
- AOL would have needed to immediately monetize Twitter because they are a public company that is struggling. Would this have ruined everything?
- Obviously, if you maligned the purchase of Bebo back then for that price, Twitter would have been even more laughable.
- I have always been a believer that it is about the team, particularly for such early stage stuff. If the Twitter team walks, it probably never gets to where it is. AOL has historically, for tax reasons, structured deals designed to make it look more like a tech acquisition and less like a people acquisition and the result is the deals incent people to walk.
Today, I think most people would agree, just from looking at the graph above or reading almost any publication, that Twitter is probably more valuable than Bebo. No disrespect to the Bebo people, I like them. I just bet they wish they working at Twitter.