Social Media

Twitter, Google in deal to make tweets searchable

Dick Costolo
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Google and Twitter are close to announcing a deal for Google to include Twitter's firehose of tweets in Google search results.

This would make Twitter more searchable, expand the number of people who see tweets, or what Twitter calls its "logged-out user base." The company would make money from a licensing fee rather than advertising.

News of the deal was first reported by Bloomberg.

CEO Dick Costolo has made a big push in recent quarters to shift attention away from the slowing growth of its core user base—284 million at the end of the third quarter—to the full range of all people who see tweets, on any platform.

The big problem with Twitter: Blodget
The big problem with Twitter: Blodget

In recent years Google had to search Twitter's site to include its information, but back between 2009 and 2011 the two companies had a similar deal to more efficiently and comprehensively provide Google with Twitter data. The companies opted not to renew the deal after it lapsed, though Twitter provided its data to Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo.

Now we can expect the terms of Google and Twitter's deal to be somewhat different than their original arrangement.

This is just the latest in a long list of announcements Twitter has made in the weeks ahead of its earnings report after the bell Thursday.

Costolo is pushing to show the company is accelerating the rate of product development and innovation. Last week it launched new video tools for creating and sharing video, opening the door to valuable video ads and group chat.

This week it announced it's syndicating promoted tweets (its native ad product) across the Web, starting with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. It also unveiled "quick promote for small business," to make it much easier for small businesses to pay to promote tweets, and is testing a new logged-out homepage, to make its service more accessible to people who haven't signed up for Twitter and may not be interested in tweeting.

Read MoreWhat Wall Street wants to hear in Twitter's earnings

On Twitter's earnings call we can expect Costolo to hammer home the idea that Twitter is ramping up its development and innovation cycle, and working to reach more people (even if they're not logged-in users) and expand revenue. The big question is whether that will overcome investor concerns about slowing growth in its core user base.