Twitter Turns Fire Hose on Little Guys

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo (YHOO) are no longer the only ones drinking from Twitter’s fire hose of real-time data. On Monday, the company granted seven real-time search and discovery ventures access to the data as well: Ellerdale, Collecta, Kosmix, Scoopler, twazzup, CrowdEye, and Chainn Search. Each will be able to tap into the totality of Twitter’s data stream, sifting and indexing it and using it to further build out their services.

The price of that access? Unknown, but I can’t imagine it’s much. Twitter says it’s charging companies according to an as yet undisclosed scalable licensing scheme. For the likes of Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), that means millions of dollars–enough to make Twitter profitable. For these seven upstarts, the fee is substantially less, at least until they evolve into more high-volume users.

In any event, it seems Twitter is finally pushing ahead with a business plan that could begin to justify the venture capital investment it has attracted.