October 21, 2009

Twitter Gives Bing Access to the Firehose, Promises More to Come

As previewed in a scoop by All Things Digital's Kara Swisher, Twitter has enabled Microsoft's Bing search engine to have access to the full firehose of all public tweets, adding these real-time elements to the company's data pool. In a post confirming the partnership, Twitter called the onslaught of updates an "overwhelming deluge", hoping that Bing could help you find those that make sense for your search query "right now".

Solving search and discovery for Twitter Search has been extremely challenging for the San Francisco-based startup, and the company's incomplete database has led to a swarm of competition, notably that of Searchtastic most recently, who gave top billing to the fact their index dived deeper than Twitter.

This obviously is no free transaction, so it is safe to say Twitter clearly has revenue today. And more will come as the company promises the development of meaningful relationships with companies that share their vision of creating value for users - be they big companies or small ones. More on the announcement can be seen on the Bing blog.

Update: (I just received this via e-mail from a Bing PR rep)
Hi Louis,

This morning at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Qi Lu, President of Microsoft’s Online Services Division is announcing a new beta feature that enables people to easily search Twitter’s real-time information feed directly in Bing. This new feature helps people make better decisions and more fully understand Twitter conversations by collecting, analyzing and uniquely presenting real-time Twitter content.

More specifically, the new Twitter developments in Bing include:

A real-time index of the Tweets that match your search queries in results. This feature makes it easier to follow what’s going on by reducing the amount of duplicates, spam, and adult content.

Giving you the option to rank tweets either by most recent or by “best match,” where we consider a Tweeter’s popularity, interestingness of the tweet, and other indicators of quality and trustworthiness.

Providing the top links shared on Twitter around your specific search query by showcasing a few of the most relevant tweets. Additionally, Bing automatically expands those small URLs (like bit.ly) to enable you to understand what people are tweeting about. Instead of showing standard search result captions, we select 2 top tweets to give users a glimpse of the sentiment around the shared link.

You can try out the new Bing Twitter search beta here momentarily or learn more about it at the Bing blog. Please note that this is a U.S. only feature at this time.

Facebook Partnership

As part of his on-stage discussion at the summit, Dr. Lu is also announcing a global partnership with Facebook that will bring public Facebook status updates to Bing search results. The experience will be available at a later date.

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