Well Microsoft did indeed announce partnerships with Twitter and Facebook today (and shortly after, Marissa Mayer over at Google followed suit, announcing their own partnership with Twitter). As quoted by MG Siegler at TechCrunch, here’s what Dr. Qi Lu said today at the Web 2.0 Summit:
This is what we call “Bing Wave 2.” One big thing is visual search which we showed off last month. Visual search helps a lot for things you that regular search queries may not help with, like shopping for a camera. And top iPhone apps.
But the real big part of Bing Wave 2 is about real-time information. Today we’re making two announcements. We’re going live with a beta shortly after this announcement. First is a strategic announcement with Twitter. We have access to all the Twitter information in real-time. Ev Williams and Dick Costolo have been great partners. The other partner will be Facebook – that’s coming at a later date.
But this isn’t just about the most recent tweets, we also have “best match” to search the tweets. We do de-duping, to get rid of repeats. Then we focus on the quality of the results, based on relevancy. One way to to see how many people follow a user. We also look for context, maybe they have a link in the tweet that is relevant. And if a tweet is being retweeted a lot, we look at that.
We also filter out spam and adult items that shouldn’t be in results. We also have the “hottest topics on Twitter,” which is a tag cloud that you can click on to dive in. A real key is to look at the links. We look at what’s buzzy and show those to you.
And with Bit.ly URLs we will show you the domain of where you’re going to land, so you aren’t tricked.
(we emphasized some of the key points in bold, specifically de-emphasizing “Wave 2”, oh my)
Twitter on Bing is live now (in the U.S.), you can try it at www.bing.com/twitter:
Danny Sullivan has a good breakdown of Twitter on Bing, and while he’s right to point out some issues, Bing.com/Twitter has been live (in beta), only a few hours. It will be interesting to see how the Bing experience evolves, and what Google does to differentiate once they get their version of Twitter search up and running (sometime in “the coming months”). For now, we’ll give Bing a shot, as we spend quite a bit of time on Twitter search, and can’t wait to compare.