Twitter and Bing announced that they have extended their deal that allows Bing to tap into Twitter’s information in a cutesy exchange on Twitter itself. As for Google, which Twitter’s been on the outs with since July, Twitter says there’s no similar happy news to report.
Dear Twitter, I Love You! Kisses, Bing
Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner compiled the exchange using the awesome Storify service, as you’ll find here:
It’s perhaps the first press release via Twitter conversation that I know of.
Details? You Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Details!
But how about details? How long is the deal for? Is Microsoft paying $30 million for it, as AllThingsD reported to be rumored earlier this year?
A Microsoft spokesperson told me simply:
I can confirm that Bing is extending its collaboration with Twitter. We are not disclosing terms of the deal.
Interestingly, when I last asked Microsoft about its deal with Twitter back in July, I was told:
We won’t disclose the terms of the deal, but it’s a long term arrangement that we’re pleased with, and plan to keep in place as long as it’s delivering benefit for people who use Bing.
With the two companies announcing a renewal, that suggests it wasn’t as “long term” as Microsoft had said. AllThingsD pegged it as expiring around the end of the year; it was announced in October 2009, so a two-year October 2011 expiration date certainly made sense.
Meanwhile, what about Google? There’s a little slam against Google in that conversation above:
@bing Totally! Search w/o Twitter = old news. You & @MSN are amazing at using Tweets to make search better & help people stay in the know.
Ouch! Google without Twitter equals old news. I asked Penner if there was news on the Google front. “Nope.”
That, along with the tweet exchange, makes me think that Twitter and Google are more apart on renewing than ever. I have asked Google for an update, but I haven’t gotten a reply yet.
Google Surviving Life Without Twitter
Of course, Google’s largely come through not having Google Realtime Search with few issues. The company has told me plenty of journalists sorely miss the tool, which was mainly powered by Twitter’s information. But ordinary users seem not to have noticed.
During the recent East Coast earthquake, I also did a spot check shortly after the news to see if the lack of tweets in Google’s search results had an impact. A little, but I was still finding pretty fresh information.
Overall, the staring game between the two companies seems likely to continue. I think Google is a lot better with Twitter information. Indeed, given that Google did a huge press event around the launch of Google Realtime Search, now acting like it’s not so important seems pretty odd. Unless, it turns out, it’s not — and the launch was simply hype.
At the very least, you’d expect Google at this point to relaunch Google Realtime Search with content from Google+ as a replacement. Not being able to search through content on Google’s own social network, from a company that specializes in search, is pretty absurd.
Google Realtime Search wasn’t just Twitter search, and the ability to use Google to search through content on other social networks got axed when Google closed it. So bring it back, even if it comes back without Twitter — and get moving on that Google+ search feature.
Twitter’s Where On Bing?
As for Bing, search without Twitter isn’t old news. It’s old, old news. Bing’s had a deal with Twitter since October 2009, and that deal hasn’t really seemed to do much to attract visitors over to Bing.
Indeed, unlike Google’s implementation, you can be hard-pressed to find tweets being visible. For example, in a search on “twitter” at Bing, I don’t see today’s conversation between Bing and Twitter appearing at all:
I do get ordinary news results near the bottom of the page, but I don’t get any actual tweets. Nor do a I get a link to Bing Social Search – the primary way to find tweets on Bing — via the Bing menu at the top of the page. In contrast, when Google offered Google Realtime Search, this type of link was prominent.
Overall, the real winner in this remains Topsy. If you’re trying to find tweets beyond a day or more, Topsy is your best resource, even over Bing. For more on that, and the backstory of the Twitter-Google deal not being renewed, see my stories below:
- As Deal With Twitter Expires, Google Realtime Search Goes Offline
- Google Realtime Search & The Aftermath Of The Google-Twitter Split
Postscript: I’ve now heard back from Google, which tells me:
We’ve temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We’re exploring how to incorporate the Google+ project into this functionality going forward, so stay tuned.