Facebook and Google Size Up Takeover of Twitter: Report

Fans of Twitter will need to use 10 of their allotted 140 characters to fit all of the zeros in the new price tag being tossed about for their favorite Web-based messaging service.

According to The Wall Street Journal, potential suitors of Twitter -- including search heavyweight Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and social-networking titan Facebook -- have held low-level buyout talks with the company that would value it at a whopping $8 billion to $10 billion.

The tech giants have apparently not balked at the asking price for Twitter, despite the five-year-old company having posted a 2010 loss after bringing in just $45 million of revenue, the paper reported.

However, the Twitter talks have gone nowhere so far and it doesn’t appear a deal is near, the Journal said. Twitter was valued at $3.7 billion after receiving $200 million in new venture capital late last year.

It’s not clear if either Facebook or Google will land Twitter, but the companies and others have shown “latent interest” in a Twitter bid, the Journal reported.

Talk of an 11-figure price tag on Twitter, which allows users to post messages on the Internet as long as 140 characters, is the latest example of the high demand for the best of Silicon Valley.With help from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Facebook itself raised $1.5 billion in financing last year that put a huge $50 billion price tag on the Mark Zuckerberg-led company -- up from just $10 billion in 2009.

Groupon reportedly rejected a $6 billion buyout bid from Google and a smaller one from Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), choosing instead to plan for an initial public offering later this year.At the same time, Pandora Media plans to raise $100 million in a public offering and an IPO for LinkedIn could put a $2 billion on the business-networking company, the Journal reported.

Shares of Google slid 0.56% to $613.03 ahead of Thursdays’ open amid a broad selloff in the tech sector in the wake of disappointing guidance from bellwether Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO).