Selling Your Tweets to the Enemy

Posted on October 8, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , |

By Ryan Tate

Tech bloggers are in a tizzy over the prospect of tech giants Google or Microsoft getting real-time access to the thoughts of Twitterers, but Valleywag has learned that cash-hungry Twitter is already selling access to its “firehose” of data.

Various startups, we’re told, have already been able to buy access (for thousands of dollars, not the millions Google or Microsoft would have to pay) to tweets. Twitter is in “advanced talks” with both those companies to sell access to a full feed of tweet data for use in the companies’ search engines, according to Kara Swisher at All Things D. Such a feed would presumably include all new tweets as they are posted along with public data on favorites and who is following whom.

Thought they haven’t widely publicized the practice, Twitter is already in the business of selling access to its “firehose” of public data, according to a source close to one customer of the service. Twitter typically charges between $1,500 and $3,000 per month for such access, this person said.

Then again, a typical customer until now has been a relatively small startup company with little revenue, utterly dependent on the Twitter ecosystem. Google and Microsoft are more fearsome competitors, with much deeper pockets. Google CEO Eric Schmidt just this past March called Twitter a “poor man’s email system,” and his company recently added real-time features to its GMail product, making it more Twitter like.

Read the rest at Gawker.com

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