There’s been an ongoing discussion in the search community regarding the value of content on Twitter and how to capitalize on it, particularly since Twitter content can reflect instant public reactions and newsworthy events. As a way to add more real time data into its search results, Microsoft has started adding some Twitter posts to the search results you get when searching for some people using Bing.
Sean Suchter, general manager of Microsoft's Silicon Valley Search Technology Center, wrote on a company blog, "We think this is an interesting first step toward using Twitter's public API to surface Tweets in people search."
Most of Bing’s search competitors don’t offer Twitter search results, but many will display a link to a person’s Twitter page and may even provide links to some old Twitter messages. Microsoft’s latest addition to Bing will list recent and past messages as well as other search results.
Microsoft intends to roll the feature out gradually, so it’s possible you might not see Twitter messages right away. Currently, Microsoft is indexing a few thousand people based on their follower count and number of tweets. Some of the Twitterers Microsoft is currently indexing includes people from its own search technology and business sphere such as Danny Sullivan or Kara Swisher as well as prominent people like Al Gore or Ryan Seacrest.
On the same day Microsoft announced the addition of Twitter posts to search results, a new study showed Bing continues to grow and may be taking market share away from Google (albeit a small amount). According to researchers at StatCounter, Bing’s share of the search market reached 1% in June. Even with the growth, Bing still trails Yahoo and Google by a large margin.