The rumours that abounded last week were confirmed by Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo at the social media platform’s fourth quarter earnings this past Thursday – Google and Twitter are back in business together.

The Deal

Both sides set to gain from this partnership, as it will mean that Twitter updates will now appear in Google search results once again. For Twitter, this is an opportunity to reach out to those not yet signed up for an account, and for Google, this means up to date, real-time search results from real people, and an abundance of new content.

This development is set to be rolled out early this year, with it being stated that developers from both sides are already at work on making the partnership a mutually beneficial reality.

The social platform and search engine’s last partnership spanned from 2009 to 2011, when it was left to fizzle out by then Twitter COO Ali Rowghani. The plan was different back then – Rowghani sought to keep more control over the data and content created by the microblogging site.

Costolo and the rest of the current Twitter management have a very different vision though, and that is to ensure that as many non-users see the tweets generated from the site as possible, and from this, see more conversions and greater monetisation of the platform.

It’s all about the Data

It’s been indicated that this deal has nothing to do with advertising revenue…both companies are looking for more than that. The benefit to both is the unlocking of data from Twitter’s side, and the further reach that Google can afford the social platform.

Since their last partnership lapsed, Google had to manually crawl the microblogging site for information, but now they will have automatic access to Twitter’s immense stream of data being generated by over 284 million users. Improving search results, as well as improving Twitter’s user count even further.

Are You a “Logged Out”?

Then you’re being targeted in this, as well as other recent endeavours by Twitter. The social platform is pursuing non-Twitter users with the very specific goal in mind of increasing their content traffic, as well as monetising that content.

Costolo confirms that, “We’ve got the opportunity now to drive and aggregate eyeballs to logged-out experiences that we plan to deliver on the front page of Twitter,” he continued, “and that’s why it makes a lot more sense now.”

What are those “logged-out experiences” that he plans to deliver? Well, Twitter’s new Instant Timeline is probably one of them. Up until now, signing up for Twitter has been a bit of an arduous task, losing a lot of people in the process who saw the end result of finding all the right people to follow as too high a mountain to climb.

Twitter’s new Instant Timeline feature though, allows “logged out” users (either people who literally aren’t logged into their accounts, or people who don’t have accounts yet) to get an immediate feel of what a great and interesting timeline would be like. All users have to do is allow Twitter access to their contacts, which the site will scan for information on possible interests, and then generate a “fake timeline” of tweets that should interest the person. No following first is needed, and if anything, helps the person find great Twitter accounts to follow from the outset.

Costolo’s plan seems to be for any “logged out” user clicking on a Twitter link from a Google search to land on one of these Instant Timelines, thus making their conversion that much more likely. It won’t hurt if one or two adverts are also added in to these landing pages as well.

This is a very interesting development, and we look forward to seeing what this partnership holds for both parties.