Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Facebook Inc. have both held low-level talks with Twitter Inc. about purchasing the social networking service, according to a report published Thursday.

The talks have valued Twitter at $8 billion to $10 billion, according to unnamed sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. The sources said the company had 2010 revenue of $45 million but lost money as it hired and invested in data centers, according to the Journal.

“Are these prices justifiable based on financial multiples? No,” said Ethan Kurzweil of venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners, according to the Journal.

However, social media start-ups like Twitter and Facebook are building social services and have lots of data about their users and “the market is valuing that mightily right now,” the newspaper added.

Investors have shown keen interest in social networking services in recent months. Last month, daily coupon website Groupon raised $950 million in financing after reportedly turning down Google’s offer to purchase it for $6 billion. Facebook is also said to have received $500 million in new funding last month.

Also last month, LinkedIn, a social networking site geared toward professionals, filed to go public in an initial public offering worth up to $175 million.

Twitter and Facebook declined to comment. Google did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Read the Journal story here.

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