Twitter may be considering search engine deal

October 8, 2009 7:05:44 PM PDT
The social networking website Twitter may be looking to make a deal with a couple of other Internet giants.

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The Twitterverse spans from the White House, to Hollywood, to Main Street coffee shops.

Posts in 140 characters or less share everything from walking the dog to breaking news.

"Sometimes I log in just to find out what's going on, that's how I found out about the earthquake in Sumatra," Twitter user Melissa Miranda said.

San Francisco-based Twitter is valued at $1 billion, but it does not have a revenue model. It is no secret the company is desperately looking for a way to make money off all the free flowing information generated by users.

The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital is reporting Twitter is in advanced talks with Google and Microsoft to make tweets available in real time on their search engines. Together Google and Microsoft's Bing account for 80 percent of Internet searches.

Technology analyst Larry Magid says a Twitter partnership makes good business sense.

"The rumor is that Microsoft and Google might pay Twitter for access to the feed and would obviously provide a revenue model and provide Microsoft and Google with a stream of data that they could put ads around," Magid said.

Twitter wants to avoid cluttering up its own user experience with online ads, but a deal like this would open up its content to the world.

"I think anybody who is tweeting is just saying stuff and putting it out there; I don't think there is as much concern as a closed environment as say Facebook so honestly I think it would be just fine," Twitter user Eric Mackinnon said.

As Twitter considers evolving to make money, some analysts say it could change the spontaneous nature of this still new social medium.

"The danger of search engines storing tweets, if it's something that might be funny today could be very embarrassing 10 years from now," Magid said.

So far there are no tweets from Twitter on any possible deal or what it might involve.

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