When Twitter signed deals with Google and Microsoft giving the two technology giants full access to its stream of tweets, it was clearly a big deal for Twitter and created a lot of discussion about the future of search.

Some reported that the deals would earn Twitter modest amounts: a few million bucks each. But nobody knew for sure since Twitter is a private company.

Now BusinessWeek is reporting that the deals were actually a bonanza for Twitter worth $25m, $15m coming from Google and $10m coming from Microsoft. BusinessWeek's sources are anonymous, and since no official statements about the value of the deals have been made, we don't know for sure.

But assuming for a moment that BusinessWeek's report is accurate, the amounts paid by Google and Microsoft would seem to indicate that the two companies see Twitter data's as being very valuable, lending credence to the notion that real-time search is the next big battlefront in the search wars.

More remarkable than the numbers BusinessWeek is reporting is another claim: thanks to these deals and reduced expenses, Twitter is now profitable. For a company that has raised more than $100m since its founding in 2007 and that many questioned would ever generate substantial revenue, profitability on any scale would be a pretty big deal.

Of course, the real question for a profitable Twitter: can profitability be scaled and sustained? A lot of companies have benefited over the years from substantial payments guaranteed by deals with Google and Microsoft (Facebook, MySpace and Digg being three notables). Those, of course, related to advertising, which is different. But for Google and Microsoft to get the most out of Twitter's data, they'll have to figure out real-time search. If Danny Sullivan's analysis of Google's real-time results in the wake of the death of actress Brittany Murphy is any indication, there's a lot of work to do.

Patricio Robles

Published 22 December, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (5)



What did google pay higher for ?

over 8 years ago


Michel Leconte

Because they are the major player in the space, and that they had most to loose.

over 8 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

I think the key question is will the Google/Bing obsession with real-time search have legs and add value to online searches? If search results get clouded with distracting tweets and users get fed up sifting through this extra info, we might find Google pulling back and reverting to a focus on other areas of search relevance.

If that was the case, Twitter can wave goodbye to a continued pumping of search engine cash for its stream.

I'm not saying that will happen but it is a possibility, with several leading SEO specialists concerned about the validity of real time search. I've seen some results with Twitter feeds incorporated and they have been irritatingly distracting with content I didn't want. Early days but I'm not yet convinced.



over 8 years ago


chinese wholesalers

Google is the king of kings,now this is a truth but many tech is deceloping,maybe you can see a new competition one day

over 8 years ago



Although Google and powerful, but there are a lack of things.

over 8 years ago

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