Tweet Heat: Twitter Outage Comes As Microsoft, Google In Talks

social network Google

The 140-character-at-a-time social network is reportedly in advanced talks with tech giants Google and Microsoft to license Twitter's live Tweets feed on a realtime basis, The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital Blog reported. The move likely would be good for the three-year-old Twitter, which has been struggling to find a way to monetize its service since its inception.

Twitter has its own search engine but it isn't nearly as robust as Google or Bing, even with its recent inception. According to the report, any deal struck between Twitter and a third party would likely be nonexclusive, meaning the social network could keep its options open for future partnerships and pursue other avenues to generate revenue.

Ultimately, indexing individual Tweets in Google and Bing is likely going to benefit all of the parties involved. Twitter will gain access to serious search engine power that will increase its visibility, while Google and Microsoft will be able to have some of the social network's stardust rub off on them.

The one snag that could complicate the deal is Twitter's propensity for downtime. In its three-year history the social network's "Fail Whale" has become synonymous with downtime. Twitter in August went offline due to a DDoS attack, which was followed up by another attack just one day later.

Sponsored post

Yesterday Twitter experienced a problem that caused users' time lines to go stagnant. As Tweets are received a user's home page (or third-party application) is updated in realtime -- that's part of what makes the social network so appealing to companies like Google and Microsoft. In a nutshell, that time line is the instant pulse of the network. Yesterday at 10:50 a.m. PT Twitter reported that the time line had "gone stale," meaning no new updates were being displayed for users even though they could still Tweet.

Twitter updated its status blog later in the day and pinned the time line problems on "a bug triggered by an edge case in one of the core services that powers Twitter."

The timing likely wasn't the best for any of the parties involved in advanced discussions regarding realtime indexing of Tweets, but it is unlikely that the hiccup drove Google or Microsoft away from Twitter's bargaining table.

After all, if Fail Whale can enter the tech vernacular and the company can still attract big-name suitors, a glitch here and there likely won't derail partnership plans.