Microsoft and Twitter have decided to extend the deal which gave Bing access to the entire Twitter data firehose. The two companies made the announcement in a novel way, via a conversation on Twitter. Bing has been surfacing tweets in the search results, when relevant, based on direct access to data from Twitter.
Until recently, Google did the same, but the search company decided not to extend the deal with Twitter which expired a couple of months ago. Google didn't really provide an explanation, but Google+ may be a big reason for the decision.
Microsoft however decided to stick to it and is reportedly paying Twitter about $30 million per year for access, about twice as much as it did in the original deal.
Here's how the conversation between @Bing and @Twitter went down on the site.
"@Twitter Been thinking about our last 2 yrs together. Instantly tapping into the wisdom of the Twitter community. Good times."
"@bing Totally! Search w/o Twitter = old news. You & @MSN are amazing at using Tweets to make search better & help people stay in the know."
Notice the subtle dig at Google which now, apparently, has "old news" since it doesn't have access to Twitter data anymore.
"@Twitter Let's say we stick together and do bigger and better things?"
"@bing We’re in. Can't wait for what comes next." Twitter and Bing talking to each other on Twitter as if they were real persons is a bit creepy, but this sure beats a standard press release.
Bing will continue to surface Twitter results. The Microsoft search engine also has access to Facebook data, to add a social element to search.
Meanwhile, Google seems to be going at it alone. Google's real time search was based mostly on Twitter, but it shut down the feature once the renewal deal didn't go through. The plan, seems to be, to relaunch it once Google+ is mature enough.