AllThingsD has reported that Microsoft will announce a deal with Twitter today to gather its real time data. We’re able to confirm that from a source as well and provide some additional details.
The deal will make Bing the first major search engine to have access to Twitter’s “Firehose” of tweets. It’s not exclusive, however. Google potentially could still do a deal, to.
We’re told that:
- The deal will be announced today shortly after Microsoft’s Qi Lu takes the stage at the Web 2.0 conference at 11:30 Pacific Time today. Some sessions are being broadcast live here, and Lu’s might be one of them.
- There will be a standalone Twitter search service offered at Bing, with some ranking technology other than sort by date involved, and that shortened URLs will be expanded. That service should go live today.
- There will be some integration within the regular Bing service itself
Discussions to gather data from Facebook are also continuing, and there’s a chance a deal might be concluded for announcement today.
We’ll update as we learn more. To understand the importance of Twitter and Facebook data to the major search engines, see my What Is Real Time Search? Definitions & Players. It covers what Bing currently does with limited Twitter data it’s able to get now.
See related discussion at Techmeme.
Postscript: Heard back from Google:
At Google we strive to connect people to all the world’s information and this includes social and real-time information. We’re currently exploring new ways to further integrate this type of information beyond what we already offer with services such as Search, News, Profiles, Reader.
Reading between the lines there, my understanding is Google is still talking with Twitter and Facebook itself. Google’s Sergey Brin told me two weeks ago that he seemed positive some type of deal would be struck with the companies. Given the Twitter deal is non-exclusive, I’d expect that’s still likely the case.
Postscript 2: Microsoft has now confirmed the deal on stage at Web 2.0, as expected above. It has also confirmed a deal with Facebook. Financial terms aren’t being disclosed. Microsoft is not saying if there’s a particular time frame associated with it. Will the date influence Bing’s regular results, Lu was asked.
Postscript 3: From the Twitter blog, news on the deal and a strong sense that Google will get a deal eventually:
We hope more working relationships with organizations in the search business will mean even more variety for users.
See our updated posts:
- Live Today: Bing’s Twitter Search Engine
- Live Blog: Qi Lu Speaking At Web 2.0
- Google & Twitter Have A Deal, Too