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Google, Microsoft In Search Engine Talks With Twitter?

A report Thursday says Google and Microsoft are in talks with Twitter about being able to search that company's real-time feed of Tweets. Yahoo could get in the action via Microsoft as well.

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Microsoft and Google are reportedly in advanced negotiations with Twitter to license that company's live tweet feeds on a real-time basis, according to a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital blog, which can be read by clicking here.

And because of Yahoo's recent agreement to partner with Microsoft on search engines, Yahoo could potentially take advantage of any Microsoft agreement with Twitter, wrote Kara Swisher in the blog post.

While Twitter has its own search engine, it is currently not tied to other search engines. Swisher wrote that Twitter would be hard-pressed to expand its search capabilities to compete with Microsoft or Google.

It also is possible that neither Microsoft nor Google would finalize an agreement with Twitter, Swisher also wrote.

Such an agreement could have huge implications for the ability of Google and Microsoft to expand their search engine capabilities. Getting an exact number of how many tweets are generated per day or per month is difficult, but Twitter is certainly one of the most heavily-visited sites on the Internet.

Complete, an online media company measuring online consumer behavior, ranked Twitter as the 38th-most visit site August 2009, with an estimated 23.6 million visits, up about 803 percent over August 2008.

While much of the information that is sent via the 140-character tweets is mundane, Twitter users are also quick to tweet about events as they happen. This includes events spanning everything from major breaking news, such as a riot or flood, to breaking product or company news, making the real-time Twitter feed valuable to Microsoft or Google search engines.

However, even the mundane items, if data is mined properly, are valuable to search engines. Marketers, for instance, could use the Twitter feeds to check the status of a marketing campaign, or gain a sense of what Twitter users think about an event.

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