Twitter Becomes Profitable

Like many startups, Twitter spent their early years focused on gaining subscribers. However, that left many in the community wondering how Twitter would ever turn a profit. They focused on users to the exclusion of worry about making money – or so it seemed.

In a move that really shocks no one, Twitter has inked a very lucrative deal with both Google and Microsoft… to the tune of about $25 million. This deal allows both companies to index tweets to be incorporated into real-time search results. Up until this point, your tweets were fairly “protected”, in that they never showed up in a simple Google search (or Bing search!). However, that has now changed, so beware what you tweet!

Using the new real-time search capabilities, you’ll see real-time updates from places such as Twitter, Facebook, and even blogs. Whatever you’re searching for, you’re going to now get results that may actually be more of what you’re needing to find. In the past, you were limited in a way as to what you’d get for results. Now, you’ll be receiving updates by the second… ones that can often have more pertinence and impact on you than a “dry” result (from say… Wiki or a newspaper site) would have been.

Will this change Twitter itself? Will it change the way you tweet? Many people are already stating that they will be much more conscious of what they are tweeting. They may not want their every thought available on search engine results. Yet, others are already seeing dollar signs… they see that their names showing up in search results could end up driving much more traffic to themselves, and their businesses.

There are pros and cons on both sides of this coin… that of Twitter, that of search results themselves, and that of the Twitter users. Okay, that might be a funny-looking three-sided coin. But nevertheless, it’s going to be interesting to watch over the next several months. If it is handled well, I can see this becoming a very, VERY good thing for all involved.

What do you think? Is real-time search integration going to make Twitter even stronger and better than it already is? Or are you one of a handful of people who think that it will spell disaster?