SAN FRANCISCO Microblogging service Twitter is in advanced talks with Google Inc and Microsoft Corp about licensing its data feed to the companies' search engines, a Web blog associated with the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Twitter's discussions with Microsoft and Google are being conducted separately and would allow each company to incorporate the 140-character messages, or "tweets," that Twitter is known for into their Internet search results.
The ability to cull through the flood of tweets as they are posted, known as real time search, is gaining popularity as an important new way to search the Internet for up-to-the-minute information on the latest news events and happenings.
The AllThingsDigital blog quoted unidentified sources as saying the companies are discussing several types of deals. Details could include Twitter receiving a payment of several million dollars and various types of revenue-sharing agreements to allow Twitter to benefit from the ad revenue that Microsoft and Google generate from search results.
Twitter has emerged as one of the fastest-growing Internet social media services. But the company has yet to generate any significant revenue from its free service. Twitter has cited advertising and premium features as two potential money-making plans.
Last month, Twitter received $100 million in new funding from investors including T.Rowe Price and Insight Venture Partners, based on a $1 billion valuation for Twitter, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Representatives from Twitter were not immediately available for comment. Google and Microsoft declined to comment.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)