Why Twitter is cuddling up to Yahoo

Twitter already has a deal in place with Google. Now Yahoo will set its crawlers loose on Twitter's torrent of tweets.

Staff illustration
Yahoo has partnered with Twitter, in a deal that allows the search giant to crawl tweets in real-time. That's good news for Twitter, and good news for Yahoo.

Months after Google announced it would crawl Twitter's vast trove of tweets, Yahoo and Twitter have announced a similar partnership, which is likely to go into effect later this year. Writing on the company blog, Twitter founder Biz Stone said Yahoo would receive "the full feed of public tweets sent to Twitter and our partners every second of every day from all around the world."

In exchange, Twitter gets a torrent of extra traffic. Here's Stone:

"From our perspective, this partnership represents a big opportunity. Tweets may be short, but they have proven over and over again to contain valuable information. As the Twitter information network grows and expands, it becomes more valuable for everyone who participates. Our open approach helps us get closer to providing universal connectivity to a global network of immediate information."

Stone is undoubtedly right that the partnership represents a major opportunity. As we wrote yesterday, although Twitter traffic is soaring – Twitter users are posting 600 tweets a second – the microblogging platform is having some trouble with retention. Teens aren't signing on in droves; the vast majority of Twitter users post only 10 tweets to their feed before abandoning it completely. We went into more depth here.

By partnering with Yahoo, Twitter could attract more users to the site. (The Google/Twitter partnership has been very good to Twitter – you can read why here.) And maybe even some users that would stick around for more than 10 tweets. On the other hand, Yahoo, which has flailed mightily in recent years – falling even behind Facebook in one ranking – expands the reach of its search capabilities.


Are you a Twitter user or just a Twitter reader? Talk to us about real-time search. How often do you use it? And what do you use it for? Leave a comment, and keep up with the latest by following us on Twitter.

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