Twitter partners with Yandex for real-time search

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Twitter and Russian search engine Yandex have agreed a partnership that will allow Yandex to show new tweets in its search results almost instantly, as Twitter becomes an increasingly important source of real-time information.

Twitter will give Yandex access to its so-called firehose of all public tweets, the two companies said on Tuesday, in an agreement similar to the one the social short-messaging site has with Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.

“We wanted to make sure that Twitter content can be where Twitter users are already going,” Twitter’s director of business development, April Underwood, told Reuters by phone. “Discovery through search is so important.”

Anton Pavlov, Yandex’s blog search manager, said in a statement: “People share news, exchange opinions and discuss all sorts of matters in real-time all the time. This kind of information will help us enhance our search results.”

Yandex has about 60 percent market share in Russia, ahead of Google with about a quarter of the market, although global leader Google has recently begun to erode its lead.

Google no longer partners with Twitter, favoring its own fledgling Google+ social network for social search results.

Asked about a possible renewal of a partnership with Google, Twitter’s Underwood said: “Anything’s possible, but there’s not really an update to provide there at this time.”

Twitter has more than 100 million active users and 400 million visitors per month. Its valuation tops $8 billion, even though it has not yet established a money-making model.

Google+, which is more akin to Facebook than Twitter, has 90 million users.

Twitter and Yandex declined to give financial details of their agreement. Microsoft has been reported to have paid $30 million for its deal with Twitter.

Yandex reaches about 2.8 percent of global Internet users, according to Web metrics firm Alexa, while Bing reaches about 3.4 percent.