It’s official. Twitter and Google are once again partnered so that Google has full access to Twitter’s feed of tweets, commonly called the Twitter ‘Firehouse’. How’s it different from the last deal? FAQ mentioned below tries to anticipate your questions and gives all your answers.
What is the deal about?
Twitter announced that it will be providing Google full access to the tweets from its service. Twitter confirmed this on its earnings call today but didn’t give any further details. The assumption is now wether this will be for a full stream of tweets or just partial bank since Google already has access to some of it’s tweets. However Google itself has still not clarified it stance on this.
Can’t Google just crawl Twitter for tweets?
Google can and does. However, there are so many tweets that if Google tried to capture them all as they happened in a traditional search engine manner, by constantly visiting the site and “crawling” to find new ones, it would likely cripple Twitter with all of its requests.
As a result, Google has been finding some tweets — often especially popular ones — but not everything. And Google hasn’t been finding tweets as quickly as it or its users might like.
Twitter giving Google direct access to a feed of tweets makes it much easier for Google to have a comprehensive collection of all tweets and index them as they arrive.
That’s the whole ‘Firehouse’ thing you hear about. Twitter is directing this stream of tweets — now over 6,000 per minute, from stats it gave out today — to Google (as it does with other partners like Bing).
Why does Google want Twitter’s tweets?
The goal of Google search is to have all the information someone might search for. Tweets are filled with great and often timely content. The tweets themselves should help Google’s search results be more relevant to its users. Data associated with the tweets might also help Google spot and better surface important content outside of Twitter.
Is Google paying for the tweets?
We don’t know. In the last deal, it did. This time, there’s a good chance it’s not paying much, given that Twitter itself is apparently coming to Google wanting more visibility in its search results.
Why does Twitter care about being in Google?
Just like most publishers, Twitter understands that Google can send it tons of free traffic — visitors that Twitter, in turn, can place ads in front of.
Last year, Twitter made a change to improve the ability for Google to gather more of its content. In turn, that leads to a 10-times increase of logged-out visitors to Twitter.
Partnering fully with Google will make it likely much more of Twitter’s relevant content will appear before Google visitors, sending Twitter lots of traffic that it can use to convert into new Twitter users or to show ads.
As Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said on today’s call, it’s about the eyeballs:
We’ve got the opportunity now to drive a lot of attention to and aggregate eyeballs, if you will, to these logged out experiences, topics and events that we plan on delivering on the front page of Twitter. And that’s one of the reasons this makes a lot more sense for us now.
Will Twitter get special treatment in Google?
If you mean will tweets magically outrank other type of content, almost certainly not. While Google itself isn’t answering questions about the deal, it would be difficult for it to promise better rankings without doing some type of disclosure. It also doesn’t make much sense. More likely, tweets will just continue to appear as they already do — when deemed relevant, within the regular web search listings.