Amid an ongoing effort to cut costs, Twitter has now refused to pay the bills to renew its multi-year contract with Google Cloud. Platformer reported.
We’ve all heard of “the cloud— but what does it have to do with Twitter? And more to the point, what are the consequences for Twitter users if Google Cloud pulls the plug on the platform?
What Are Cloud Computing Services?
Simply put, “the cloud” is a collection of computer resources that can be accessed remotely over the Internet. These assets are leased to Internet-connected organizations so they don’t have to buy and maintain their own assets.
In the case of Twitter, these resources include storage space for very large amounts of data, as well as a series of programs that perform various operations on this data, as agreed in the contract. All this takes place over a global network of physical servers.
Cloud computing is a convenient and cost-effective business model, which has gained much favor from companies large and small.
Currently a handful players dominate this market. Leading the way is Amazon Web Services (AWS). owns about 32% from the market. Amazon became the first cloud provider in 2006 and has since built a comfortable lead over its rivals, Microsoft Azure (23%) and Google Cloud (10%).
Redundancy means that if one data center goes down, there are several others with duplicate data that can be deployed seamlessly. And if the amount of user data in one data center is large, the extra load can be outsourced to another data center. In this way, peak hours can be accommodated without loss of performance.
What could happen if Google pulls the plug?
It seems that Twitter is at odds with its cloud provider Google Cloud. The company is Reportedly disputes its Google Cloud bill as it attempts to renegotiate its contract with Google.
The problem seems to be rooted in a disagreement about the quality and performance of the service. Twitter believes it is not getting value for money and withholds the final $1 billion payment contract with Google Cloud.
Under the contract, Google Cloud hosts many of Twitter’s trust and security services. If the disagreement is not resolved by the end of the month and if Twitter cuts ties with Google Cloud, it could pose a serious threat to its ability to fight spam, remove child sexual abuse material, and generally protect accounts. to protect.
Google currently allows Twitter users as well to register with their Google account. And Twitter profiles are very arranged in Google searches, by virtue of Twitter’s close ties to Google. This preferred status could be jeopardized if the two companies cannot come to an agreement.
In addition to Google Cloud, Twitter also has a multi-year plan cloud computing contract with AWS to provide numerous features. It also reportedly withheld payments from Amazon in the past and owed about $70 million in bills as of March. Amazon responded by threatening to withhold payments for ads running on the platform.
Why does Twitter refuse to pay?
The dispute could perhaps be seen as yet another attempt by Twitter to radically reduce its operation cost. It’s a trend that started late last year when Elon Musk acquired the company for $44 billion.
Musk, who just hired the former NBC Universal ad executive Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitterhas implemented a suite of cost saving measures since the acquisition – including the dismissal of more than half of the company’s 7,500 employees.
Looking at the big picture, Musk is working to make Twitter a leaner, more efficient business.
Tackling malicious abuse
At stake in this dispute are services that help keep Twitter free of harmful, dangerous, and offensive content. Twitter’s battle against this content, as well as spam and bots, is ongoing. While it’s hard to predict the outcome of the dispute with Google, it’s likely that Twitter will take whatever action it takes to help the company save money.
That could mean moving those services to another provider, or keeping Google Cloud’s services but on more favorable terms. Another possibility (though less likely) is that Twitter will internally migrate those specific services where it has more control. But this also requires expenditure and personnel to manage the data.
In the worst case, Twitter can collapse or destabilize if certain elements of it go offline. Twitter trolls aside, this outcome would be in no one’s interest. So it’s more likely that Twitter and Google Cloud will find a mutually agreeable path forward.