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Twitter Signs a Larger Deal With Alphabet's Google Cloud

By Anders Bylund - Updated Feb 5, 2021 at 2:23PM

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The microblogging veteran's "partly cloudy" IT strategy adds more cloud computing muscle.

Twitter (TWTR 1.65%) just signed a multiyear deal with technology giant Alphabet (GOOG 4.16%) (GOOGL 4.20%) that moves most of the social network's data processing onto the Google Cloud platform. Twitter has been using Google Cloud since 2018, but this agreement takes the partnership to a new level.

The new contract moves machine-learning, offline-analytics, and data-processing workloads from Twitter's own data centers and onto the Google Cloud platform. Twitter says that this rebalanced hybrid cloud solution will let the company analyze data quicker and "improve the experience for people who use the service every day."

Google Cloud has been managing Twitter's big-data processing in Hadoop clusters for three years now. This upgrade adds a large number of Google Cloud tools to Twitter's data processing toolbox.

The company now has easy access to advanced machine-learning systems; the Data Cloud data storage solution; and information-processing instruments such as Bigtable, BigQuery, and Dataflow. Anyone can sign up for a Google Cloud account and start using these platforms, but Twitter has negotiated a deal with better pricing and availability for this large-scale bulk contract.

Digital rendering of a large magnifying glass highlighting ones and zeroes falling out of a cloud.

Image source: Getty Images.

Twitter's services generate a lot of data, which needs to be processed and reused in many different ways, often on a real-time basis. "Building on this relationship and Google's technologies will allow us to learn more from our data, move faster and serve more relevant content to the people who use our service," said Parag Agrawal, Twitter's chief technology officer.

From Alphabet's point of view, Twitter's expanded deal fits into Google Cloud's explosive sales growth. The service is operating at a loss, but revenue rose 47% in Alphabet's fourth-quarter report earlier this week.

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