Microsoft Inks Twitter, Facebook Data Mining Deal

bingUpdated with detail from the Web 2.0 conference: Microsoft is set to announced this morning during the Web 2.0 Summit separate nonexclusive deals with Twitter and Facebook, deals that were first reported by Kara Swisher over at AllThingsD, which would enable Microsoft to serve real-time status updates from those two social sites within its Bing search engine. This news comes one day after Twitter CEO Evan Williams deferred a question about pending data mining deals with Microsoft and Google.

Financial terms of the deals are unknown. And the implications will be different for Twitter than for Facebook. While most status updates on Twitter are publicly searchable, updates on Facebook are primarily kept private between users and their friends. Not all of Facebook’s status updates will be searchable in Bing’s real-time feed, according to Swisher.

Update:
Yusef Medhi, senior vice president of Microsoft’s online audience business, took the stage at the conference to demo a beta version of its Twitter real-time search feed, which is now live. Medhi identified Twitter as the leader in the real-time space and said its Facebook search feed will be rolled out later.

In the Bing Twitter feed, you can choose to see either the most recent tweets about a search term or the most relevant tweets about that term. To render a list of the most relevant tweets, Bing takes into account the author of the tweet, the quality of the message and how often it’s been retweeted.

Bing also provides a tag cloud of the most popular terms being discussed across the Twitter network and lets you see popular embedded links about a certain topic. For example, you can view a list of NY Yankees articles people are tweeting most about. Another plus is that Bing identifies the source of the article’s shortened URL, which prevents you from unknowingly clicking on a bad link.

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