Twitter Lands in Bing

By  |  Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 1:18 am

Twitter on BingMicrosoft’s strategy with its Bing search engine seems to be, in part, to be visibly different from Google. Which is certainly the case with a new feature the company launched on Tuesday: embedded tweets in results. Searches for someone’s name that include “twitter” or “tweet,” or searches for someone’s Twitter name, may produce results topped by a little module with that person’s two most recent tweets and a link to his or her Twitter feed.

Here’s a random example:

Twitter on Bing

Okay, it’s not so random. Bing isn’t doing this with everybody–just a few thousand “prominent and prolific” Twitterers. (I assume I fall into the prolific bucket.) Bing’s indexing of Twitter results isn’t truly real-time, but does seem to be reasonably brisk–as you can see in the image above, it found my most recent tweet within minutes. Google finds tweets quickly, too–this tweet’s also in the Google index–but doesn’t have anything like Bing’s Twitter-centric module.

Microsoft doesn’t mention this in its blog post announcing the new feature, but the Twitter module also shows up even if you don’t reference Twitter in your search. Or at least the one for me shows up in results for “Harry McCracken.” It’s at the bottom of the first page of results.

None of this earth-shaking–or, really, a radical improvement on simply using Twitter’s own Find People feature. But I’m looking forward to the day when Google, Bing, and their rivals weave useful tweets into their results in a sophisticated way, and it’s nice to see tangible evidence that Microsoft’s starting to think about the problem. (As, of course, is Google–even if it hasn’t launched anything noticeably Twittery just yet…)


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Chris Says:

    Harry, seriously. Let it go on the Twitter crap for a bit. It’s becoming a bit of an obsession. I love Technologizer, but please can we have at least one Twitter-related story free day?

    You’ll thank me when said overhyped microblogging site is relegated to the trash-heap of the current attention-craving generation.

    Twitter is not going to save the world or the economy. It’s not even technology. It’s a .plan file for celebrities. Please, there are other things going on in the world that are totally devoid of tweeting twits.

  2. John Baxter Says:

    And there I am, right in the middle of listings for a John Baxter who matters. His prominence must have rubbed off.

    (Also listed is the top page of my employer, on which my name does not appear–even hidden in the raw source. Strange.)

  3. Harry McCracken Says:

    @chris: Thanks for the feedback and sorry you don’t like reading about Twitter (although I think we do give you plenty of Twitter-free days–we’re halfway through the week and this is the first we’ve published about it).

    When people ask me what I write about on Technologizer, I tell them that I write about things that sit at the intersection of what I’m interested in, and what the world is interested in. Twitter happens to be one of those things right now…