Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yandex, Google’s Russian Rival, Is Twitter’s New Real-Time Search Partner

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A significant step for Twitter in its international growth: Yandex, Russia’s search giant, today announced that it will carry Twitter data in all of its search results.

The news also underscores one possible route to revenue generation for Twitter: Yandex describes this as a licensing deal. The terms of it were not disclosed but Microsoft reportedly paid Twitter $30 million for a similar search agreement.

The agreement with Yandex will see Twitter’s data firehose appear both in Yandex’s blog search, as well as through a dedicated URL, twitter.yandex.ru.

The Yandex agreement is similar to the real-time Twitter search that used to be offered by Google — a partnership that ended last year around the time that Google was launching its own Google+ service.

Yandex says it has licensed the “full feed of all public tweets,” covering all languages — but seems to highlight specifically those tweets that are in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian or Kazakh, covering tweets from more than two million users. People will be able to search by usernames and hashtags, too. In total, Twitter has around 100 million active users, covering some 250 million tweets per day.

This looks like Twitter’s first big deal with a Russian portal, and could point to more local partnerships of its kind — useful for Twitter extending its coverage and usefulness beyond its home market and English.

For Yandex, the Twitter deal gives the search giant — which currently has around 60 percent of the market in Russia — a leg up in its own strategy to do more in social networking: Yandex already offers people Google-like features to share news and other content and this will enhance that.


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