Started in 2008, Posterous is a blogging platform that enables its users to share and create content to post on their "Spaces." Sound familiar? It's just about the same as a Tumblr or a Wordpress, except its tools are so watered down that even your 80-year-old grandma can figure out how to get a blog going in minutes.
On the surface, the unexpected buyout from Twitter seems to be nothing more than a talent acquisition as stated on the Twitter blog: "Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better." But it'd be naive of us to believe that Twitter acquiring Posterous has nothing to do with the threat from the incredible growth of the Tumblr machine.
For now, both companies (well, now Twitter) have happily posted amicable blog posts indicating the buyout is real. Twitter also hasn't announced what it will do with its new Posterous staff and what its real motives are.
And while Twitter says all of Posterous' Spaces will "remain up and running without disruption," all we see is a big warning sign that you'd better start considering a move to another blogging platform before all your content goes kablooey. Hey, it could happen any time without timely warnings.
One of Twitter's hallmarks is the 140-character limitations, but at the same time, it's extremely limiting. We're not rooting for any one social network/blogging platform, but we see the Posterous buyout as an opportunity for the company to keep shared links and content within the Twitterverse — contained, controlled and more friendly to monitoring.
It's sort of how Facebook has grown to be more than just a place to poke people. Facebook wants to be the new Google — the most popular gateway to the Internet. We see Twitter going after the same goal. Why just be a part of the Internet, when you can try to mostly be it? Why be this machine for referring to Tumblr links, when Twitter users can start sending more traffic to Posterous links?
There's also the matter of advertising. It's no secret that Twitter is hard to monetize. Instead of crowding up the Twitter feed with ads, the company could offload advertisements to Posterous (or whatever new platform it becomes when Twitter's wrapped its fingers around it).
Today, Twitter buying Posterous might seem small, but tomorrow, Twitter could become the one-stop source for all your real-time blogging/micro-blogging needs. Who will need Tumblr or Wordpress, when it can be Twitter time, all the time?