Twitter to use Amazon Web Services as it expands computing capacity

The deal with Amazon will supplement the social media company’s own computing capacity

Twitter will use Amazon Web Services to help power its endless stream of posts, deepening the ties between the social media and cloud-computing companies.

Twitter has long relied on its own data centres to store and show text, photos and videos. Under a multiyear deal announced on Tuesday, Twitter will use the unit to provide “global cloud infrastructure to deliver Twitter timelines", supplementing the social media company’s own computing capacity. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms of the deal.

AWS has been at the forefront of a shift in corporate technology spending, away from on-site servers and company-run data centres, and toward computing power and software services purchased on demand. AWS and rivals like Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google have won big business customers by promising the ability to quickly ramp up or reduce server capacity depending on companies’ needs. Some of AWS’s best-known early customers are high-tech upstarts like Netflix and Airbnb.

Twitter started moving some technology to the cloud in recent years, including with a 2018 deal that saw it migrate portions of its massive trove of data to Google.

San Francisco-based Twitter said working with Amazon’s cloud will improve the performance of its products by using data centres that are closer to where people live. Twitter can also “ship features faster” using Amazon’s suite of services, said Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief technology officer.

Behind the scenes, Twitter has been a customer of Amazon’s for years, partly as a result of acquisitions, Matt Garman, AWS sales and marketing chief, said in an interview. Twitter’s increased reliance on the cloud should save money, free up developers to work on other products, and allow the social media company to grow more quickly in areas where they don’t have data centres, Mr Garman said.

“We’re pleased that they picked us,” he said. “We’re hopeful that they can push us to get better.”