Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this past week. After the #dickbar fiasco, and the recent update of the Twitter API terms to discourage developers from building new Twitter clients, Twitter, under the leadership of Dick Costolo, seems to be charging ahead to turn profitable, at least enough to justify its sky high valuation which recently jumped to $7.7 billion in a private auction.
Unlike Facebook, which seems to have found a way to make money without irritating its users, every time Twitter makes a move towards monetizing the millions of tweets its users create, somehow it always seems to rub off badly with either the users or the developers.
In its latest move, Twitter seems to have convinced Google to display promoted tweets in real-time search results. It seems like if you search for any keyword in Google for which a promoted tweet exists, the promoted tweet is display on top of the results, highlighted as “Ads by Twitter”. Twitter likely plans to jack up the price of Promoted Tweets based on how much additional traffic they gain from real-time search users.
Bing, Google’s closest competitor in the search space, isn’t displaying the promoted tweets in the real-time search results though. We wonder if this is because Google has only the Twitter firehose as a source for real-time search results, while Bing has access to both Twitter and Facebook data streams. Maybe, that’s how Twitter coerced Google into display promoted tweets in results. At this point, it’s still speculation though.