Twitter on Microsoft's Bing  (Source: Microsoft)
Companies are confident that Twitter searching will add a new dimension to the search for information online

Twitter is both a growing source of information -- and misinformation.  While incidents such as fake reports of the death of Kanye West point to the platform's tendency to proliferate misleading information and rumors, at the same time many celebrities, news organizations, and companies are using Twitter to share information in realtime.

While about Twitter's value is ongoing, with nearly 20 percent of people tweeting (slang for making Twitter posts), this wealth of information is too attractive to pass up.  Both Google and Microsoft simultaneously scored new deals to allow searches of Twitter content.  Neither company revealed financial specifics concerning the deals.  The deals promise to improve the accuracy of information searches on Twitter.

The Microsoft implementation, which will be attached to the company's new search engine, Bing, was unveiled and demonstrated at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco Wednesday morning.  Not to be outdone, Google posted a blog stating that it also had an agreement and Twitter search results would be added "in the coming months".

Microsoft recently scored a deal to add Facebook content to its Bing searches as well.  However, Twitter, at only 3 years old, was the most attractive target for both Microsoft and Google.  With celebrities and tens of millions of users logging in daily, the potential for ad revenue -- the foundation of the search business -- is enormous.

Twitter information is available now on the beta section on Bing, and the Facebook search, which covers public profiles, will be available at a later date.  You can check out the Twitter search here

Microsoft describes the new feature, writing, "If you want to keep an eye on this topic, you can just watch the Tweets roll in. Or, click on “See more Tweets about…” to go to a page full of Tweets. On that page, you can change the ordering to “Best Match.” Here we arrange Tweets differently. If someone has a lot of followers, his/her Tweet may get ranked higher. If a tweet is exactly the same as other Tweets, it will get ranked lower. For example, I saw a Tweet from ABC News ranked pretty high in the Best Match mode during the “boy in the balloon” fiasco. By the way, you won’t see any of your tweets if you protected or deleted them, and tweets don’t last more than 7 days in our index."

Microsoft plans on using Twitter results to rank the popularity of certain topics.  One of the biggest challenges for Microsoft and Google will be tuning their Twitter filters, though, to improve accuracy.  Popularity rankings, can help with accuracy, but inaccurate stories can often soar to relatively high popularity on Twitter.

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