Why Twitter Chose Berlin Over Hamburg and Munich

By David Knight |

While it’s not yet official, it’s certainly undeniable – Twitter is coming to Berlin. Having decided to boost its presence in Germany amid unimpressive user numbers here, it would appear to many that it made the obvious choice in relocating to the capital. But why exactly is that?

The German office will certainly be in good hands, with an old friend of mine (and former boss) set to take charge. But the buzz which has been surrounding Berlin for over a year is surely part of the thinking behind Twitter’s decision.

It’s the place to be right now – and what better way to distinguish themselves from the likes of Facebook and Google (with German HQs in Hamburg) or Amazon, Microsoft and Apple (in Munich)? Rather than going ‘corporate’ like those fellow digital behemoths, Twitter is looking to stay true to its roots, and remain close to the German capital’s network of startups.

After all, they can rent a swanky, upmarket office in Mitte and still claim to be part Berlin’s burgeoning tech scene!

It will be fascinating to see what level of interaction Twitter will maintain with that scene in Berlin, from the smallest one-man startup wannabes to the SoundClouds and Amens of this world. Hopefully, and I believe this will be the case, they will seek to build close relationships with ‘the rest of us.’

Hand in hand with choosing Berlin for it’s scene is the talent – something else which must have been a factor when the top dogs at Twitter made their decision. It’s not that places like Hamburg, Munich or even Dusseldorf are lacking in that area. It’s that most of the fresh, young talent, to coin a horrible phrase, are making their way east.

Ultimately, other cities would have had a strong pull for Jack Dorsey et al, but in choosing Berlin, I think they have made a statement about what kind of direction they want their new German affiliate to take.