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Bing And Tweet: Microsoft Adds Twitter Search To Bing

Microsoft Bing now features Twitter search capabilities, letting users search and browse realtime Tweets from some of Twitter's most prolific users.

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The addition of Twitter search to the Bing search engine, however limited it may be, gives Microsoft a one-upper on the competition.

In a blog post, Sean Suchter, general manager of Microsoft's Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, said the Bing team has been watching Twitter and the interest in realtime and immediate search to determine how to move forward.

"Today we're unveiling an initial foray into integrating more realtime data into our search results, starting with some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres," he wrote. For example, posts from folks like Danny Sullivan and Kara Swisher, two members of Microsoft's search team, and others like Al Gore and Ryan Seacrest will be searchable.

"When you search for these folks' names in association with Twitter, you'll see their latest Tweets come up in realtime on Bing's search results," Suchter wrote.

Microsoft Bing searchers can search for a Twitter user's name, Twitter handle or other key words to return the results. The results, or answers, will include that person's latest Twitter updates, or Tweets, and a "see more Tweets" link from that individual.

Suchter cautioned that Microsoft Bing is only enabling partial Twitter searches for the time being and will update the feature as necessary.

Despite its limitations, Microsoft Bing's Twitter search functionality is a big leg up for the search engine. Other search engines and search providers don't index Twitter at all, but only display a link to a person's Twitter page or show some older Twitter messages. Microsoft Bing offering the ability to see individual updates in realtime, along with other search results, is a big advancement.

"We're not indexing all of Twitter at this time just a small set of prominent and prolific Twitterers to start," he wrote. "We picked a few thousand people to start, based primarily on their follower count and volume of Tweets. We think this is an interesting first step toward using Twitter's public API to surface Tweets in people search. We'd love to hear your feedback as we think through future possibilities in realtime search."

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