Microsoft Introduces Bing-Twitter Searches

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's new search engine Bing has been receiving pretty impressive reviews since it launched a couple months back, and now the company is introducing one more reason to skip Google: using Twitter updates.

In a blog post by Sean Suchter, the general manager of its Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, Microsoft revealed that it would present the most recent Tweets of popular celebrities when users enter a relevant name into the search engine.

In other words, enter "Al Gore" into the search field and you'll receive the former vice president's last few Tweets -- probably something about the environment or inventing the Internet.

Number of Twitterers Limited, For Now

According to Suchter, the plan to incorporate Twitter has been in the works for some time.

"We've been watching this phenomenon with great interest, and listening carefully to what consumers really want in this space," he said. "Today we're unveiling an initial foray into integrating more real time data into our search results, starting with some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres. This includes Tweets from folks from our own search technology and business sphere like Danny Sullivan or Kara Swisher." (Source:

Unfortunately, the service thus far is limited to celebrities of the tech world and mainstream North American popular culture. You can find the random thoughts of American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, but a search for cousin Lou from Seattle won't end with Tweets.

Although it's hard to know exactly how many people's Tweets will be available through a Bing search, Suchter estimates the number to be about a few thousand. (Source:

MS Open to Suggestions

If there's enough positive feedback the Redmond-based firm could push the project further. "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 real time search," said Suchter.

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