Kara Swisher

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Yahoo Dramatically Expands Twitter Relationship in Next Stage of "Project Rushmore" (Complete With Cutesy Bird Puns)

Yahoo announced tonight that it is dramatically expanding its relationship with Twitter, integrating it broadly through its Web site, much in the same way it did recently with Facebook.

In December, Yahoo (YHOO) announced that it would integrate Facebook Connect with its many properties–from its powerful media sites to its Flickr photo service to its email.

While the Internet giant once had grand plans to socialize itself, it seems that task is being outsourced to more successful and innovative companies in the social networking space, part of a massive integration of them across the giant Internet portal, in an effort dubbed internally as “Project Rushmore.”

So, as it previously indicated, Yahoo is now moving beyond Facebook, weaving Twitter’s real-time feed throughout the service in a variety of ways.

Under terms of the deal, users can access the microblogging service’s data stream while on Yahoo, make status updates and share Yahoo content.

In addition, Yahoo said that search and media properties “like News, Finance, Entertainment, and Sports will include real-time public Twitter updates across a variety of topics.”

Yahoo once again declined to comment on whether and when the service would be striking similar deals with other social networking sites.

But sources told me that MySpace and LinkedIn are likely candidates for the next two spots on Yahoo’s social monument.

That would, of course, account for the four presidential stone faces on Mount Rushmore–George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

No money was exchanged in the five-year deal with Facebook; nor was there any other financial or advertising element. Yahoo declined to give such details about the Twitter deal, but some sort of payment seems likely.

Whatever the case, other big Internet companies are getting into the social act.

Separately, both software behemoth Microsoft (MSFT) and search giant Google (GOOG) recently struck a data-mining deal with Twitter, and Microsoft did so with Facebook.

Yahoo’s deals are broader, because such an overall move by the company is an important and necessary one.

It is also very late in coming, since Yahoo nearly completely missed the social networking train and needs to figure out how to be part of it in a way that is useful to users, as well as open.

Here is the full press release from Yahoo, with more bird puns than BoomTown can stand (Sheila, I give):

@yahoo + @twitter Sitting in a Tree…T.W.E.E.T.I.N.G.

Yahoo! gives ’em something to tweet about, partnering with Twitter to integrate content and social experiences from across the Web

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 23, 2010–As part of its ongoing commitment to be the center of people’s online lives, Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced a global partnership with Twitter to integrate Twitter’s real-time social experiences with more than 600 million people in Yahoo!’s global network. The integration is part of Yahoo!’s commitment to provide personally relevant information to people, from sources across the Web.

A little bird told me: @yahoo is the place to tweet and be tweeted

This partnership includes three primary elements:

1) People will be able to access their personal Twitter feeds across Yahoo!’s many products and properties, including the homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Sports, and others, letting them check in more easily on what’s happening with the people and things they care about while on Yahoo!.

2) People will be able to update their Twitter status and share content from Yahoo! in their Twitter stream, so they can easily share their Yahoo! experiences with their friends and followers on Twitter.

3) Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! media properties like News, Finance, Entertainment, and Sports will include real-time public Twitter updates across a variety of topics. Yahoo! Search users will immediately see real-time Twitter results today; go to Yahoo! and try it out.

Tweet and shout: @yahoo pumps up the social volume

Today’s Twitter partnership, along with Yahoo!’s recently announced Facebook relationship, will transform Yahoo! into a highly customizable social experience that lets people bring together and unify their activity from their many social experiences across the Web. Because of these connections, anyone with a Yahoo! ID can update multiple social networks simultaneously and stay in touch with the people and information that matter most at every moment of the day.

“Let me try to capture the enormity of this integration in 140 characters or less: We’re turning the key to the online social universe–you will find the most personally relevant experiences through Yahoo!,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president, consumer products group, Yahoo!. “We’re also simplifying people’s lives by bringing their social worlds–and the world–together for easy access.”

Add an exclamation point to your tweets

The Twitter integration also provides full access to the complete Twitter public data stream, which Yahoo! will use to improve the relevance and freshness of content across Yahoo! properties. This will drive deeper user engagement, and create new and compelling opportunities for developers, advertisers, and publishers.

“The information in one single tweet can travel light-years farther with this Yahoo! integration,” said Twitter cofounder Biz Stone. “Tweets in more places brings relevance where and when you need it most.”

The real-time Search integration is available immediately. Other parts of the integration are expected to launch later this year.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik