Before you snicker, I have to tell you that this comes from the same guy who predicted Google as a likely acquirer of YouTube.
I think it likely that all-the-rage, super hot and hip mobile messaging platform Twitter will be acquired. This will take place by the end of this year, if not much sooner.
In predicting the purchaser, one might reflexively lean toward one of the major players already in the IM space- Yahoo!, MSN, Google. Actually eBay wouldn't be a bad idea- integrate Skype "call me" icons to user names shown in Twitter messages.
But considering Skype isn't exactly on many of the handsets used for mobile Twittering, I think we should look elsewhere.
We'd want to look for a buyer that understands the IM space, but doesn't have too many potentially cannibalistic products within it. Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp. might find a way to integrate Twitter with MySpace, and Viacom could do something with Twitter as well.
But because there are performance issues with MySpace on mobile, I don't really see seamless integration at the present time. And Viacom isn't really a leader in social software such as Twitter is.
Verizon and AT&T could buy Twitter for the extra minutes users will spend using this, but I see them more as partners of Twitter than acquirers.
Which leaves IAC/InterActive Corp.
I see Twitter as a perfect companion to CitySearch. Imagine a conversation such as:
"Hey where are you?
"We are at the "House of Sushi!"
Identifying info could be added to a Twitter message that would take the recipient's handset to the House of Sushi's page on CitySearch.
IAC/InteractiveCorp. also owns Match.com. Imagine if you will, a password-accessible, secure but oh-so-flirty "Twitter Me" button available to registered Match.com users. Would be a perfect complement to Match.com's "Wink" feature.
Or how about, a Twitter message saying, "I am playing Zwinktopia?"
I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict here and now that Barry Diller's shop will buy Twitter.
I see a poll comin'...