Monday 13 June 2016 3:35 pm

The Microsoft LinkedIn deal is the wind beneath Twitter's wings today

Shares in Twitter were lifted higher by the surprise news that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn in a deal worth $26bn (£18.5bn), rocketing more than eight per cent in early trading in New York.

The troubled social network has been in the doldrums in recent months despite the best efforts of newly returned chief executive Jack Dorsey to push the platform forward, and shares plummeted to an all-time low of $13.90 in March.

Speculation has been rife that Twitter is heading towards some sort of takeover and today's deal has apparently renewed hopes of such a deal for the social network.

Read more: Twitter changes 140-character limit (giving investors more room to moan)

The major tech companies with deep pockets such as Facebook and Google make would make sense for many, while News Corp was forced to deny rumours of talks earlier this year.

In recent weeks, Twitter held talks with Yahoo over a merger, according to reports, although major parts of Yahoo itself remain on the chopping block, while analysts called a sale "unavoidable".

"I’m afraid the more time that passes without any true innovations, the more unavoidable an acquisition becomes and the lower the price Twitter is likely to fetch" said Disruptive Tech Research analyst Lou Basenese before today's deal.

Twitter's had more problems than LinkedIn. It's much more difficult to turnaround," said Richard Holway, chairman of TechMarketView. "Someone will buy them."