AllThingsD reported yesterday that Twitter was in independent discussions (which have happened before) with both Google and Microsoft “in which the companies would license a full feed from the microblogging service that could then be integrated into the results of their competing search engines.” Reuters also picked up the story.
Bing and Google have both indicated that “real-time search” is on the agenda and this would quickly accelarate those efforts. Bing previously added “Twitter Smart Answers.” There are also third party tools to add Twitter results to both Google and Bing. And as you know Google’s relatively new search options allows people to filter by results from the “past hour.”
Google’s Larry Page not long ago emphasized the importance of real-time search:
“I have always thought we needed to index the web every second to allow real time search. At first, my team laughed and did not believe me. Now they know they have to do it. Not everybody needs sub-second indexing but people are getting pretty excited about realtime.”
If the full Twitter-search integration does come, what will that do to the burgeoning community of real-time engines out there, which rely primarily on Twitter for their content and results? There are at least 10-12 players now which face potential banishment into perpetual obscurity if the deal happens and the implementation is successful. Collecta is one of the few exceptions that doesn’t rely entirely on the Twitter API. But everyone in real time search would be forced to step up to the next level of creativity and utility to survive.