In February, Twitter signed a firehose deal with Google to bring tweets right into Google’s search results. This week, that integration started rolling out on mobile, with a promise to also update the desktop version “shortly.”
As I wrote while covering the announcement, Google is hoping to boost its real-time search chops while Twitter is aiming for more users and engagement. Yet at the end of the day, this is one of those rare partnerships that benefit the user first, and the companies later (Twitter is getting an undisclosed amount of money from Google, and Google can potentially monetize tweets with its own ads, but right now it’s unclear if either will be significant).
First and foremost, this partnership means Google users finally have access to Twitter’s stream. Because tweets are often full of timely information, this means searching for anything relatively recent on Google will start bringing up messages sent out on Twitter. Many events often happen on Twitter first, and that’s data that can be incredibly useful to have indexed for users to quickly find.
Twitter’s search engine works, but it’s nothing special. Google is the king of search, and with Twitter data, it’s suddenly about to get even more useful.
Assuming that Google users find the tweets they’re looking for, they will only think more highly of the search engine, and presumably use it more. In this way, Google is next in line as the one to benefit from this new partnership.
You’d think Twitter would be next, but there’s actually one more entity to acknowledge: Twitter users. Yes, we realize there is a big overlap between Google users and Twitter users. Still, if we examine them separately, it’s clear they both win.
Twitter users start to benefit once incoming Google users act on the tweets they find. That can be a favorite, a retweet, or even a reply. If that starts to happen at scale, and Google has plenty of that, Twitter users should see more content on the social network, especially in relation to tweets that Google deems important and relevant.
Last on the list is Twitter itself, if the company can convert all this new traffic into users who keep coming back. Signing up to engage is one thing, but actually choosing to become an active Twitter user is what the company really needs. That’s no easy feat, and so Twitter’s opportunity to benefit from this partnership requires the most work.
To recap, here’s the order of winners: Google users, Google, Twitter users, and Twitter.
The biggest loser? Google+.