Readers of this blog will have figured out that I’m swamped with shipping something right now. I just wanted to resurface and point enthusiastically to Bing’s launch of a Twitter search vertical. There are basically 3 features in this vertical: search results which show matching tweets, the tag cloud of hot topics (similar to what Twitter already has) and the list of top links from tweets that include a term – a sort of auto-digg driven by Twitter data.
The first two are required but to me not especially interesting. The third is really what I think the basics of real time search are all about – except that I would call it attention search: searching what people are paying attention to.
At any rate, I think the significance of Bing producing something like this is important. In addition, it has been produced in a manner that perfectly fits the data. Pushing out of the standard search experience to deliver something that is driven by the data model is a direction that Microsoft is clearly making with all things Bing. This should be contrasted with Google’s hot-on-the-heels announcement of their Twitter integration:
Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results.
If the implications of this are that the Twitter data will be somehow blended into the SERP then Google is being a slave to its simplicity at the expense of leveraging the nature of the data. We’ll see when it surfaces. TechCrunch also points to this, although with what look like different expectations:
It’s worth noting that while Bing’s Twitter search is live today, it sounds like Google will be working Twitter’s data into its search results over the next few months.
It is also interesting to take a look at the media reaction. Search Engine Land gives a reasonably comprehensive overview. Techmeme is currently showing Bing getting a lot more attention on this (with a real product) compared to Google (with no real product). Of course, the real issue of attention is: how are Google, Apple, etc. going to rain on our parade tomorrow…