Report: Microsoft, Google sparring over Twitter?

Twitter's search feature is red-hot. According to AllThingsD, Microsoft and Google are both hoping to grab their piece of the pie by serving search ads.

It's not like we didn't see this one coming: Microsoft and Google are apparently chomping at the bit in an attempt to make a search-advertising deal with Twitter, AllThingsD reported Thursday.

"Many think Twitter's real-time search of its 140-character 'tweets' posted by users on the service will become the next great battlefield in search," AllThingsD's Kara Swisher wrote. Indeed, Twitter's search has been front and center since it acquired third-party search app Summize and integrated it into its own site. "Google currently dominates the general search market, with third-place Microsoft struggling to get more share."

Twitter currently serves no ads, search or otherwise, with the exception of the rare "sponsored" company like ExecTweets.

The catch, according to AllThingsD, is that neither company has really made up its mind as to whether Twitter will continue its explosive growth or whether it'll end up as little more than just a hyped-up fad. Considering these days of tight budgets, it's not surprising that even a huge tech company would think twice before signing a deal that potentially might not have the greatest return on investment.

Earlier this month, the rumors were all about whether Google would actually acquire Twitter --rumors that no one seemed to be able to agree on. Google has already purchased two short messaging services: Dodgeball, which it eventually shut down , and Jaiku, a once-direct Twitter rival whose future is now uncertain . Twitter CEO Evan Williams already has ties to Google, too; he sold Blogger to it back in the day.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has a $240 million stake in Facebook --which apparently did try to buy Twitter --as well as display ad deals with both Facebook and Digg. Ironically, when Microsoft made its $240 million investment, Google was widely rumored to be vying for it as well.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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