Rumors are running rampant about talks between Twitter and the top search engines. Is Twitter striking separate data-mining deals with Google and Microsoft where they'll receive a full feed from the microblogging service?
Kara SwisherWell if one is to believe one source that would be the case. Kara Swisher, social media guru relying on "unknown sources" in her recent "All Things Digital" blog of the Wall Street Journal states, "sources said a number of scenarios are being discussed to compensate Twitter for its huge and potentially valuable trove of real-time and content-sharing information, generated from the data of billions of tweets."
However Swisher also goes on to say that "sources said it is also possible that no agreement would be reached with either company," and that "execs at Twitter, Microsoft and Google had no comment when asked about the talks."
Valleywag asserts without any credible authority that they "have learned that cash-hungry Twitter is already selling access to its data...according to a source close to one customer of the service."
With all this innuendo and questionable sourcing of reliable Intel, there seems be a lot of speculation brewing, built on a minimal amount of shaky evidence.
Last month, Twitter raised another $100 million in new funding, after previously raising $55 million, bringing in their valuation at a cool $1 Billion. Scaling at such a heightened pace, without making "dime one," Twitter has obviously convinced its financial backers that its going to be around for the long-haul. And in turn its investors don't seem worried about their immediate return on their investment.
So with so many unknown sources, cash in the bank and Twitter's firehose of data growing exponentially, it gives one pause to ponder: Why would the microblogging darling ever consider jumping into bed with Google and Microsoft to sell its real-time feeds when they could just as easily use it for themselves?
It's my belief that Twitter is going to forge its own destiny and establish its own search engine presence to compete head-on with the big boys in 2010. Since according to Swisher, Twitter "is pretty much putting itself out of play to be acquired," my thought is its also putting itself out of play to share its wealth with anyone.
Its vast data-mine fortune that only grows with each and every single tweet emanating from the Twitterville is a virtual gold mine. Yes the $1 Billion-dollar house that Twitter built is not only the result of a good number of financial investors. Its also a direct result of the billions of tweets emanating from its 54 million monthly users.
And since all Twitterers are stake-holders in this well-funded company, I think its up to Twitter to tell us directly (and not covertly through unknown sources) what they may or may be doing with the data-mines that have our names written all over them.
Your thoughts? You believe the rumors? What do you think Twitter will do in 2010 regarding monetization?