Google could be preparing a formal offer to buy Twitter, and a sale of the social media company could happen by the end of the year, CNBC reports. A source tells Reuters that multiple tech companies are looking into purchasing Twitter, which—despite being a force in news and popular culture—is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year while being overtaken by upstarts like Snapchat and Instagram. But with 313 million monthly users, Twitter "might be limping, but it's not lame," according to Recode, which estimates the company could go for anywhere between $18 billion and $30 billion.
Experts say Google makes the most sense to buy Twitter, as it has the money and hasn't been able to get its own social media efforts to take off. But a source tells Reuters that Salesforce.com is also very interested. That's slightly surprising as Salesforce "has virtually no presence in consumer media," instead focusing on "cloud-based computing services." But CNBC notes buyers may be as interested in Twitter as much for the massive amounts of data it generates as anything else. Sources say Twitter's board is keen to sell, and the company's shareholders seem to agree. Twitter shares rose 19% Friday with news of a possible sale, the biggest jump in the company's stock in three years. (Read more Twitter stories.)