Google May Have Dropped Another Twitter Feature

    March 12, 2012
    Chris Crum

The relationship between Google and Twitter has been somewhat rocky lately. Last year, the two companies were unable to reach an agreement that would continue to give Google access to the Twitter firehose to better its search results. For that reason, Google’s realtime search feature disappeared.

When Google launched “Search Plus Your World,” integrating Google+ content more heavily into its search results, Twitter raised a big stink about how it was bad for the Internet, and noting that Google should be showing Twitter results for some queries where it was favoring Google+ results.

Google’s response was:

“We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer (, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.”

But Google does still show Twitter results, and it is in cases where Google has every right to show them, but doesn’t, that Twitter appears to have the biggest problem.

The tensions even led to the cancellation of a meeting between the two companies that may have otherwise resulted in a better Twitter experience on Android devices.

But that’s all old news at this point. There was an interesting post in WebmasterWorld about another subtle disconnect between Google and Twitter, which could be related to the deterioration of the relationship between the two companies, or could just be a coincidence. It’s interesting nonetheless.

WebmasterWorld member Sgt Kickaxe posted in the forum:

Im not sure if anyone’s noticed or written about this yet but the Twitter option in feedburner [] has gone awol. In fact the entire “socialize” option link now appears missing.

The service is still active (for now), you can manually navigate to the socialize page by typing the address in your navigation bar. old address:

What I liked about the service was that it automatically used Google’s shortening service for links which comes with analytics. At this point the service is still active though unreachable if you don’t know the address so it may be taken offline, eventually, or perhaps it will just stop accepting NEW connections but will not change existing connections, or?

Perhaps Google simply decided to stop promoting twitter altogether after their fallout over tweet indexing. Who knows.

My guess is that this is not directly related to the company politics between Google and Twitter. If that were the case, I’d expect other Twitter features to be missing from Google products as well – like the share on Twitter option from Google Reader or YouTube. Removal of things like this would hurt the user experience.