Twitter shifts offline analytics workloads to Google Cloud

Paper cut Twitter icon on wooden stick on blue sky background
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Google Cloud Platform has signed a multi-year agreement with Twitter that will see the social media company shift its offline analytics, data processing and machine learning workloads to Google’s Data Cloud.

The deal means Twitter will be able to more quickly process trillions of data points generated by every tweet, retweet and like send on its platform to generate insights that, in turn, can be fed into improvements to the core product.

Twitter's data platform currently consumes hundreds of petabytes of data and runs tens of thousands of tasks over a dozen data clusters each day. It previously struck an agreement with Google Cloud Platform as part of its ‘Partly Cloudy’ strategy in 2018, when the firm moved its Hadoop clusters to Google’s infrastructure.

With this expanded partnership, Twitter will adopt a number of Google services including BigQuery, Dataflow, Cloud Bigtable and machine learning tools. Ultimately, it’ll allow the firm to expand its data ecosystem and generate insights much faster, as well as allowing for deeper machine learning-driven innovation.

"Our initial partnership with Google Cloud has been successful and enabled us to enhance the productivity of our engineering teams," said Twitter’s CTO Parag Agrawal. “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 every day.

"As Twitter continues to scale, we're excited to partner with Google on more industry-leading technology innovation in the data and machine learning space.

Twitter is also hoping to ‘democratise’ data access by offering a range of data processing and machine learning tools to better understand and improve how Twitter features are used. Previously, engineers and data scientists developed large custom processing jobs, although these can now be queried faster using SQL in BigQuery.

The partnership, generally, will make it easier for both technical and non-technical teams to study data generated from the usage of Twitter, and gain insights from these.

"Helping customers manage the entire continuum of data - from storage to analytics to AI - is one of our key differentiators at Google Cloud," said Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian.

"It's been phenomenal to watch this company grow over the years, and we're excited to partner with Twitter to innovate for the future and deliver the best experience possible for the people that use Twitter every day."

Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Features Editor

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.