It came to light today that Twitter is in talks with Google and Microsoft (and by default, Yahoo!) that would allow open access to Twitter’s Data feed.
The aparent non-exclusive deal that Twitter is signing would allow the Search Engine Heavyweights to display and monetize twitter results along side of regular search engine results.
This is an absolute brilliant move by Twitter on multiple fronts; Establishing a foothold in the “real time” search realm, monetizing their extremely popular service, and also reducing future possible development costs.
A Win-Win for both sides
As I’ve said before, Twitter’s strength lies in Search and real time data.
Up until now, in order to take advantage of it’s unique position, Twitter would need to develop a very intuititive – and expensive – search algorythm Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have spent years and billions of dollars developing.
On the other side of that coin, the big three search engines would need to invest an equally large amount of money creating, marketing, and maintaining a service in size and scope to match Twitter.
Now, with this agreement, both sides can take advantage of this new found arena of search… real-time.
A monetization method for Twitter
In addition to the market share Twitter will be receiving from this deal, it also answers the very old question of Twitter’s monetization strategy.
This is something that Twitter has been grappling with for a while… how to monetize it’s vast amounts of data and subscriber base WITHOUT alienating it’s users by placing ads within the content.
The monetization of this deal will come two fold: First, there’s the licensing fee from the search engines which will probably total in the Millions of dollars. Second, Twitter will more than likely construct a deal that allows them a share of the ad revenue other sites would use to display the service.
So, in a sense, Twitter would be making money off advertising, without having to worry about those pesky ads.