WIthin hours of one another, Microsoft and Google announced that their respective search engines would begin indexing tweets from popular microblogging service Twitter.
Microsoft was first on the scene, when Redmond's President of Online Services Division Qi Lu announced the beta of Bing.com/twitter had opened at the Web 2.0 summit today. The beta provides a real-time index of tweets, and the ability to rank tweets according to its relevance.
"If you want to keep an eye on [a] topic, you can just watch the Tweets roll in. Or, click on 'See more Tweets about...' to go to a page full of Tweets. On that page, you can change the ordering to 'Best Match.' Here we arrange Tweets differently. If someone has a lot of followers, his/her Tweet may get ranked higher. If a tweet is exactly the same as other Tweets, it will get ranked lower," Paul Yiu of the Bing Social Search Team blogged this morning.
Then, Google's Vice President of Search and User Experience Marissa Mayer followed up with a quick and casual announcement that, oh yeah, Google can do that too.
Mayer is also expected to give a presentation at the Web 2.0 summit where more details are sure to be disclosed. But Bing has fully beaten Google to the punch, since the Mountain View, CA search giant doesn't actually have a product to show for its agreement with Twitter yet. Mayer said, "We look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months."