Twitter is in talks with Google and Microsoft about licensing its tweets for real-time inclusion in search engines. Such deals could be worth millions. All Things Digital (via Silicon Alley Insider) has the scoop:
...according to sources familiar with the situation–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.
Sources said a number of scenarios are being discussed to compensate Twitter for its huge and potentially valuable trove of real-time and content-sharing information, generated from the data stream of billions of tweets from its 54 million monthly users.
…doing these kinds of data deals with big search players does make a lot of sense, since it would be hard for Twitter to turbocharge its own search engine without running into the big cash-laden guns at both Google and Microsoft, which recently launched its new Bing search service.
Twitter is…seeking to create a large open platform, which many could plug into, from search engines to marketers to publishers to developers.
Smart move for Twitter. Licensing tweets for real-time inclusion is a potentially easy and steady way to monetize. It’s also less potentially irritating than some of Twitter’s other ideas (derived from changes in its Terms of Service), which include selling tweets to marketers. That won’t stop Twitter from doing both–especially if it that means it can remain an independent company.