After yesterday's announcement of Yahoo intergating wih Facebook Connect, comes the news of Google and Twitter joining forces to allow Twitter integration with Google's Friend Connect.
I think I have a different view of this. Despite the timing of both transactions, they represent different strategies to me. Yahoo's move was a bow to Facebook, in favor of its users and the utility they extract from Yahoo, but eroding a strategic advantage Yahoo may have pursued through its massive reach.
Google's move, on the other hand, is less about bowing to Twitter. Twitter knows surprisingly little about its users, whereas Google knows a ton – thorough clickstreams, search behavior and Gmail. In fact, I'd say Google still owns a much larger chunk of the social graph than Twitter. What Twitter is great at is realtime and declared interests. And it's growing super fast.
This move by Google and Twitter makes me suspect even more my prediction yesterday. This alliance will allow Google to observe how Twitter helps its users and evaluate Twitter as a potential acquisiton target. It will also help Google to preserve some ground against Facebook, who has now clearly become the only contender to Google for ownership of the identity layer of the internet.