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Forget that little patent contretemps between Facebook and Yahoo. Water under the bridge. Now the companies can turn their attention to the real threat: Twitter.Buried in the press release announcing the settlement of Yahoo’s big patent-infringement lawsuit was this interesting nugget:
Yahoo and Facebook will also work together to bring Yahoo’s large media event coverage to Facebook users by collaborating on social integrations on the Yahoo site.
Large media event coverage: Where have we heard that before?
Oh yes, from Twitter, which has made coverage of big, live events like Nascar races and Pepsi’s summer concert series a cornerstone of its plan to simultaneously woo large numbers of new users and tall stacks of dollars from big advertisers.
Facebook has struggled to make its social network a place where people congregate to find out what’s happening now in the world, as opposed to what’s going on with their friends.
Facebook has taken steps in that direction, by letting users subscribe to famous people’s profiles rather than requiring a mutual friend approval. But the site still lacks a clean way to highlight people’s reactions to live events. Notably, Facebook’s search engine lags behind the competition—even more so after today’s search updates from Twitter.
How does Yahoo help Facebook? The portal is still a big destination for audiences seeking news and sports information—the kind of happening-now events that Facebook wants a piece of. Facebook brings the social element that advertisers are increasingly looking for. It’s not clear exactly how they’ll put those pieces together and sell them, but that’s what the two companies agreed to do today.
And it’s clear that Twitter, which increasingly conceives of itself as a social-powered media company, is on a collision course with these two players.
Look at LinkedIn, which has increasing ambitions to be a news-and-information destination for its members. Twitter dumped its LinkedIn partnership last week.
Twitter and Yahoo inked a series of partnerships in 2010. How long before Twitter flips Yahoo the bird, too?