Kara Swisher at the Wall Street Journal has reported Twitter is in discussions with Google and Microsoft about allowing the two search engines access to their data.
"Twitter is in advanced talks with Microsoft and Google separately about striking data-mining deals, in which the companies would license a full feed from the microblogging service that could then be integrated into the results of their competing search engines," Swisher reported.
The impact of this has to be questioned and why Twitter would give up a core element of their potential income.
If we go back to the internal Twitter documents released by TechCrunch, there are some interesting possibilities and underlying thoughts from Twitter's perspective that could be worked into the process.
Twitter recognizes that "Google could kick our ass at finding the good tweet". But the engines are supposedly going to add tweets into the search results - thus giving Twitter greater exposure and the potential for rapid increases in sign ups. Is that part of Twitter's plan?
Two comments may suggest Twitter is not about to give away the store in these deals. "Google is old hat" may show a little arrogant - but hopefully not an underestimation of the search giant. While their thoughts "Can we do to Google what Google has done to others" shows they are aware of potential risks.
Twitter seems to be looking for a licensing deal - like Microsoft did with the PC companies - which could be a very smart play on their part. They would get part of ad revenue it has been suggested - given no one from any of the parties involved are commenting yet this is all speculation - but since the results would be placed into the organic results, exactly how that ad share will be determined should be interesting. Hopefully they are not thinking of adding search ads into their own layout.
They are aware that this will be done through their API and that they have to be very careful in mapping out the licensing process.
This is a development that will be watched by many people and not only those in our industry. How it plays out could be a major impact on the future of the web.