Posted by: Rob Hof on July 1, 2009
In a nod to the increasing importance of real-time search, Microsoft has started adding Twitter updates to its Bing search engine. For now, the Twitter-related results are limited only to searches on prominent Twitterers themselves, not nearly all tweets, according to a blog post by Sean Suchter, general manager of Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Search Technology Center:
There has been much discussion of real-time search and the premium on immediacy of data that has been created primarily by Twitter. We’ve been watching this phenomenon with great interest, and listening carefully to what consumers really want in this space. Today we’re unveiling an initial foray into integrating more real time data into our search results, starting with some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres. This includes Tweets from folks from our own search technology and business sphere like Danny Sullivan or Kara Swisher as well as those from spheres of more general consumer appeal like Al Gore or Ryan Seacrest.
Starting later today, when you search for these folks names in association with Twitter, you’ll see their latest Tweets come up in real time on Bing’s search results. … (Note this feature will be rolling out gradually over the course of the next few hours so you may not see it right away.)
The answer will include that person’s latest Tweets, along with an easy link to “See more tweets” from that individual.
We’re not indexing all of Twitter at this time… just a small set of prominent and prolific Twitterers to start. We picked a few thousand people to start, based primarily on their follower count and volume of tweets. We think this is an interesting first step toward using Twitter’s public API to surface Tweets in people search. We’d love to hear your feedback as we think through future possibilities in real time search.
If you’re a bit of a geek, and use the Firefox browser, you can already add Twitter search results to both Bing and Google via a software add-on called Greasemonkey. But it’s pretty rudimentary, just a list of the five most recent Twitter search results for that particular query pasted atop the regular results.
A plethora of other real-time search engines is vying to become the one place to go for results on what people are talking about and sharing right now. And I suspect Google, which does offer near-real-time results for some news-oriented queries, won’t wait long to add some kind of Twitter-related results in some way or another. But for now, Bing’s Twitter results are one thing Google doesn’t offer, and that’s likely to help maintain the recent positive buzz about Bing.