Like its announcement about syndication of Promoted Tweets earlier this week, Twitter clearly timed its announcement of the deal with Google around its quarterly earnings announcement.
This will be the first time Tweets will feature in Google search results since they disappeared in 2011. The deal gives Google access to Twitter's firehose, the stream of data generated by the company’s 284 million users.
The deal should enable Google to monetize AdWords inventory against real-time cultural or consumer needs. “I can see plenty of potential for this rich source of real-time information to provide value-added data for services like Google's retargeting, context-specific ad placements and similar,” said Simon Kemp, regional managing partner at We Are Social.
The partnership has a number of benefits for Twitter. If an unregistered user sees a Tweet in a Google search and then clicks on it, that person will be taken to a “logged out” page, which will allow him or her the option to sign up. It also gives significantly higher visibility to Twitter's central role in the way the world reacts to the news of the day, especially breaking stories. This will help build awareness, which should improve frequency of usage, as well as help to maximise growth.
In the most recent quarter, Twitter’s ad revenue continued to soar, up 97 per cent to $432 million. However, user growth continued to slow; the company added just 4 million monthly active users in the quarter.
“In the past few years, Twitter hasn’t been able to grow as quickly as it may have liked, and this new-found friendship should help to drive more users,” said Giles Henderson, director of media and channels with VML Qais. “If both Google and Twitter are benefitting from this, it will be at the expense of Facebook in the first instance.”
Derek Tan, IPG Mediabrands’ executive director for social media, World Markets, agreed. “The revived partnership between both Twitter and Google is a direct response to the focus that Facebook has placed on establishing itself as a prominent search engine built on social data and relevance,” he said.
According to Saurabh Dangwal, head of digital, MediaCom, Team P&G, while the deal appears to be mutually beneficial, in some ways it’s a bigger win for Google. “For Google it's a further powering of their product, making it more real-time in nature and in line with their 'Now' offering. It’s obviously a great move for the consumer, making their search results even better.”