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Bing and Google start tweeting

Bing/Google in real-time breakthrough

Real-time search has taken a huge step forward after it was announced that both Bing and Google would provide relevant tweets to users.

Microsoft was the first to announce a partnership with Twitter yesterday. To coincide with news of the deal, a beta version of the Bing Twitter search tool was unveiled at bing.com/twitter.

The homepage uses a wordcloud to show the hottest topics on Twitter and a short selection of tweets on each subject, while users can also search keywords of their choice. Bing’s decision to prioritise the most relevant tweets marks a change in approach for Twitter searches, which traditionally give top billing to the most recent entries.

Hollow victory for Bing

Initially, media commentators hailed it as a triumph for Microsoft over arch rival Google. Within hours, however, Twitter signed a separate deal with Google to index all public tweets and present relevant results to users.

Explaining the latter deal, Evan Williams, chief executive officer of Twitter, said the micro-blogging site wanted to “tap into their expertise to support the rapid, open exchange of information”. He added: “A fast-growing amount of information is coursing through Twitter very quickly and we want there to be many ways to access that information.”

Launched in June 2009, Bing was given a reported marketing budget of £60.89 million to take on Google. However, the latest independent figures suggest it still has plenty of ground to make up. According to data from comScore, Microsoft accounted for 9.4 per cent of all US searches in September 2009 while Google boasted a 64.9 per cent market share.

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