Saudi Prince Rolls the Dice on Twitter, Bets $300 Million



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Holly Golightly

Well, I like Twitter more than FaceBook based on privacy concerns. Plus, I use Twitter to follow up on some crazy sales from my favorite stores. I just don't know if I should trust Saudi royalty... Or anything royal in that regard. This guy may be up to something... But it is nice to see foreigners liking Twitter as well.



Arab Spring much?  Hmm... I'm a powerful person in a country of startling dichotomy, where the ultra-wealthy coexist with the ultra-poor, and we like things the way they are.  Oh, some of my proteges in other countries nearby have been having trouble with the ultra-poor and those people used social networking to organize against the establishment?  Time to buy some social media companies!

Seriously, that's kind of horrible news.  I mean, they'll probably spin it to claim that it is to keep the country "with the times" and something for the populace to celebrate, but Saudi Arabia has many of the same socioeconomic and political problems of the rest of the region.  The leaders are certainly not as bad as, say, the Syrians, but they're looking at a huge inlux of young people into their job markets in the next few years, and scratching their heads wondering where those jobs will come from.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the whole thing, but it's kind of scary whenever a new tool for regular people to communicate is used, startles the existing powers, and then gets locked down and controlled...and $300 million certainly buys a lot of sway with a company.

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