Twitter Inc. has struck a deal with Google Inc. to make its 140-character updates more searchable online.
In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google's search results as soon as they're posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter's firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service's 284 million users, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. Google previously had to crawl Twitter's site for the information, which will now be visible automatically.
The agreement underscores the progress that Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo is making in getting tweets seen by more non-users and generating more advertising revenue from a larger audience. Twitter, which also provides data to Microsoft Corp.'s Bing search service and Yahoo! Inc., is aiming to draw more people to its site as user growth slows. Twitter this week announced deals to show advertising in Flipboard Inc.'s mobile application and with Yahoo Japan Corp
Engineers from Twitter and Google are already working on the arrangement, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn't public. The two companies had a similar deal from 2009 to 2011. Ali Rowghani, Twitter's former chief operating officer, had been against renewing the agreement to keep more control over Twitter's content and it lapsed, the people said.
The renewed relationship benefits both companies "given Google's desire for greater relevance on mobile and in real- time, and Twitter's desire to extend reach and monetization," Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Robert W Baird & Co., wrote in a note.
Additionally, the "new partnership would suggest Google is less likely to acquire Twitter," he wrote.
Will Stickney, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Twitter, declined to comment. Jason Freidenfelds, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, didn't respond to a message seeking comment.
Twitter rose 3.3 per cent to $42.05 at 9:31 a.m. New York time. Through yesterday's close, the stock had advanced 14 percent this year. Google added 0.3 per cent to $527.50.
There's no advertising revenue involved in the deal between Twitter and Google, one of the people said. That suggests Twitter will receive data-licensing revenue, which was $41-million in the third quarter, up from $16-million a year earlier.
Anthony Noto, Twitter's chief financial officer, said at the company's analyst meeting in November that it had been working to make tweets easier to find through search engines, and that negotiating with search providers could be a "unique opportunity" to distribute tweets to more people.
Twitter is scheduled to report quarterly earnings Thursday.