Why else do you think Google is so anxious to buy them?
Twitter is a great communication tool, but it’s real power lies in something it hasn’t fully exploited yet–search. Not search in the sense that Google does search, but search in the sense of the way you want to search.
Real time search. Search that is uber-relevant.
The difference lies in the approach. Simplifying things a bit, Google’s aim is to index the entire web and make it available to you, and they are the best at it. Twitter’s aim is to index a small part of the web. All they want is the most current (up to the second) information that people are actually reading and telling their friends about. In short, Google wants everything ever published. Twitter wants everything people actually want to read about right now.
And this just in–Twitter has announced they are not only indexing links, but also indexing the content on pages as well.
Which type of search is more valuable to you?
I know most of the stuff I read online is new. I’d assume the same is true for most journalists as well. But there’s also an advantage of a real time search engine dominating the market is for content publishers. All of a sudden, you aren’t competing with everything ever published for traffic. Instead, you are competing with other publishers who are discussing the same topic.
Take in to account the ease with which you can find and connect to these other publishers, and the result may end up looking something like open source software with news stories having many contributors adding to a story real time.
It doesn’t matter that Twitter hasn’t made a dime yet. The people at Google are smart, and they see what’s coming.
The people at Twitter are smart too, and that’s why they haven’t sold.
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