Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have struck a deal which will make it easier for Twitter-generated tweets to appear in search results, Bloomberg reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter. According to those sources, the microblog providerhas agreed to give Google access to the stream of data generated by Twitter’s284 million users. This will allow its 140-character messages to become visible in Google’s search results as soon as they are posted. The sources added that Twitter and Google were already working on implementing the agreement and its effects should be felt in the first half of the year.
The two companies had a similar agreement from 2009 to 2011, but the deal lapsed as it wasn’t driving meaningful contribution to Twitter, the Wall Street Journal said in its own report on the new deal. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Twitter’s former chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, didn’t want to renew the agreement as he wanted to keep more control over Twitter’s content.
Assuming accuracy of the reports, this tie-up with Google marks another move by Twitter to extend the reach of its service. Earlier this week, the social media provider announced new advertising partnerships with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan, which will enable the company to sell promoted tweets outside its own properties.
Such deals could help ease ongoing investor concerns over Twitter’s slowing user growth rate. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results later today, with analysts expecting to see a continued slowdown in user growth. On a positive note, revenue is expected to have grown 87 percent from a year earlier, to some $453.1 million,according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
In today’s trading, Twitter shares rose 3.8 percent to $42.26 shortly after the opening bell in New York. The stock has risen 18.3 percent since the start of the year.
According to the Financial Times, the 33 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Twitter have a median target of $49.00, with a high estimate of $64.00 and a low of $28.00. As of February 02, the consensus forecast amongst 52 polled investment analysts covering the company is that the stock will outperform the market. This stance has been maintained since December 17, when the sentiment of investment analysts improved from “hold”.