Will Twitter Ditch Google For Bing?

Two weeks ago, Google let its deal with Twitter expire, effectively eliminating its Realtime Search results and the prominence given to tweets when users searched for news items. Now, rumors have it that Twitter isn’t playing the jilted partner for long – they’ve already entered into talks with Google’s rival, Microsoft’s Bing, to extend a similar service.

Cnet is reporting that Twitter has moved on from Google to Bing in the hopes of selling access to its firehose.

Unnamed sources cited in the article say that Twitter was caught off-guard at the fact that Google walked away from a deal to renew its access to the tweet firehose (and effectively its entire realtime search product). They also speculate that Google will now be turning to its own realtime social network, Google+, for live search results.

Now, Twitter has to renew its contract with Bing in order to bring in the revenue it needs from the sale of its firehose, which has brought in tens of millions in the past and, in addition to its advertising products, makes up the bulk of its revenue.

Bing’s firehose deal with Twitter was signed in 2009, like Google’s, but was to last for six months longer than the search engine giant’s.

Cnet reports that Twitter is asking Bing to double its payment for access to the firehose, up to $30 million per year. However, this is the least contentious issue in the negotiations: Twitter wants more user interface control, more links back to Twitter.com, and a larger cut of the ads sold next to tweets served in search results. Microsoft wants a longer term than Twitter has initially offered.

Twitter currently has deals with Yahoo!, Yahoo! Japan and several dozen smaller businesses.