As Danny Sullivan has just announced Microsoft’s Bing is launching has launched a Twitter Search system www.bing.com/twitter which includes a front page featuring a hot-topic cloud and list of top tweets.
This gives Microsoft a major boost in the increasingly important area of real-time search, an area in which Google is perceived by some to be at its weakest. With Bing soon to be providing search results to Yahoo this marks the beginning of a new phase in the battle for search market share.
In recent years Google has been supreme – in the US they are approaching 70% of conventional searches and in the UK it’s around 80% – but now it seems that the landscape could be moving under their feet. Real time search is becoming the “in” thing and here it’s Twitter that has the most up to date data streams, while in the area of people search and social connection Facebook contains a massive amount of data that is mostly hidden from search engines.
It’s not yet clear whether Twitter’s data will also be available to other companies, including Google, but certainly Bing has stolen a march here and if it can become seen as the standard place to undertake searches of this type then it could swing the balance of power towards Microsoft. The next few months could be very interesting indeed.