What do Microsoft and Google want with Twitter?

A real-time result option would bolster Google and Microsoft's search capability.

Microsoft and Google are reportedly in discussions with Twitter. The microblogging system could help both search giants integrate real-time search results.

Coming soon to Google and Microsoft Bing: Real-time search results, pulled straight from the Twitter feeds of tweeters the world over. That's the report today from Kara Swisher at All Things Digital, and if true, it's a game-changer.

Right now, Google is still the go-to search engine, but it adds new data to its results pages relatively slowly. In these halcyon days of the Twitter news cycle, where every bit of news is picked through and chewed over faster than you can say "tweet," you don't want regular old search results.

You want fast – you want right now. Enter something called real-time search, which helps users sift through data as soon as it officially enters cyberspace.

A small army of real-time search tools has emerged in recent months, each one timed to take advantage of the soaring popularity of Twitter. Facebook is testing an internal real-time search tool, and sites such as OneRiot, Topsy, Tweetmeme, and Scoopler have made great strides in the turbo-search market.

But thus far, Google and Microsoft have remained out of the fray. A potential deal could send major ripples through the tech landscape. Right now, Twitter is a great search resource. We instantly benefit from crowd-sourcing – our friends and acquaintances can point us to good articles, for instance, or new videos.

But Twitter is also the noisiest place on the Web – a social networking tool that’s always talking to us at a mile a minute. A partnership with Google and Microsoft would help cut down on the clutter, and let us pick at our own pace through the Twitterverse.

A deal, of course, would also provide Twitter, which was recently valued at $1 billion, a concrete way to make some cash.


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