As part of an effort to integrate real-time data into search results, Microsoft has announced that its one-month-old search engine Bing now includes the latest tweets of Twitter users. While Bing will not feature all of Twitter at this time, it will index a few thousand of the more prominent Twitterers based on their follower count and volume of Tweets. The list of Twitter users includes everyone from search technology journalist Danny Sullivan to people like Al Gore and Ashton Kutcher.
In a blog post about the announcement, general manager of Microsoft’s search technology center Sean Suchter wrote, “There has been much discussion of real-time search and the premium on immediacy of data that has been created primarily by Twitter. We’ve been watching this phenomenon with great interest, and listening carefully to what consumers really want in this space.”
When Bing users search for people in association with Twitter, the search results will bring up their latest Tweets along with a quick link to more tweets. Users can type in queries such as “Ashton Kutcher Twitter” or “Ashton Kutcher tweets.”
This is a major step for Bing in terms of competing with search giant Google. The New York Times reported that while all major search engines index Twitter profiles and some older tweets, “Bing is the first major search engine that is integrating with Twitter in this way.”