Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Saudi prince invests $300 million in Twitter

Saudi Prince, Walid bin Talal has invested $300 million in Twitter. Other investments he's made previously, include Citigroup, Disney and Apple. According to the New York Times, Prince Walid's investment, through his company Kingdom Holding, makes Twitter now worth more than social gaming company, Zynga. According to a statement made by the prince, the purpose of the purchase is to, "invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact." Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s executive director of private equity said, "We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend."
Prince Walid bin Talal
Prince Walid bin Talal

While the prince himself is not on Twitter, his wife, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel is and she is an avid user (@AmeerahAltaweeL). The role of Twitter in the ongoing Arab spring makes this purchase interesting. Twitter was widely used in the Egyptian as well as the Tunisian uprisings, and continues to be used for the riots in Syria and Libya. Additionally, Twitter makes up a huge part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. However, the prince's wife made it clear through a retweet that the motive behind the purchase is not political. The retweet, according to Forbes, roughly translated states, "Some consider Alwaleed’s investment in Twitter as political. This is not true. It is an investment and exchange in new media that is not restricted to Football Scores on Twitter.

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