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The Twitter forecast: cloudy with a big chance of a merger or acquisition

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Jack Dorsey/JD Lasica/Flickr
Twitter just can’t seem to cut a break. A decade down the line, faith in the company’s product is faltering — and like an outdated version of your favorite app, the end may be near.

With stagnant growth and no signs of life beyond its committed fan base, there’s an unbearable load of pressure on the company. It’s a burden, according to analysts and tech industry insiders, the company can no longer manage alone.

Add to that the security questions that are now plaguing Twitter and its social media counterparts alike, as well as the internal turmoil that has seen several execs depart this year, and you have a bleak picture for the platform.

Analyst Robert Peck, of Suntrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., predicts that if current trends continue (which he believes they will) a sale will occur in 2017.

“We note that if the current trend of meager user and engagement growth remains, we think it’s inevitable that Twitter will need to pursue M&A alternatives as has been discussed in the media for some time,” Peck told Bloomberg. He added that the most likely buyers would be tech giants Google, Facebook, or Apple, or a traditional media company.

The internal chaos affecting Twitter is what worries investor — and Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding. Just this week, Twitter replaced its head of product for the fourth time since 2014. That particular role, claims Roeding, is pivotal to Twitter’s success: “People are waiting for the updates to the core product to make it more useable, more user-friendly, and we have yet to see a massive change there. Some people are now talking about it being bought in the next year or so,” he told CNBC.

Adding more fuel to the fire, talks of a proposed merger between Twitter and fellow ailing web brand Yahoo recently came to light. The idea behind the union was to blend Twitter’s live communication tools with Yahoo’s long-form news content. Neither company has released an official statement on the results of the meetings.

Drawing similarities to Yahoo’s predicament — which has seen it court separate offers for its core web business and thousands of tech patents — Roeding thinks that Twitter may suffer a similar fate.

“We’re talking about $3 billion valuations in a company that’s actually worth a lot more in total,” Roeding said, in reference to Yahoo. “Twitter will have the same issue.”

Judging by the statements, Twitter is in for a rough ride when it comes to reassuring investors of the viability of its product. In the meantime, all eyes will remain fixed on co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey to see whether his distinct vision overturns predictions and restores Twitter to its former glory.

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