Microsoft is integrating messages from prominent users of Twitter, the hot micro-blogging service, into the results generated by its new Internet search engine Bing.
Microsoft said that it did not plan to index all of Twitter and make it searchable, just "some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres" such as former vice president Al Gore.
Twitter is seen by some technology analysts as the next frontier in the field of Web search because of the real-time nature of the messages from its users.
Twitter's real-time stream of messages of 140-character-or-less is not currently searchable on Google, the dominant Web search engine.
Twitter does provide a search feature of its own, however, and a number of outside developers have also developed applications that allow users to sift through the messages on the site.
Microsoft, in a blog post on Wednesday, said its efforts with Bing and Twitter were "an initial foray into integrating more real time data into our search results."
A search for "Al Gore" and "Twitter," for example, brings up the latest messages, known as "tweets," from the former vice president, a link to his Twitter stream and the possibility to "see more tweets."
"We're not indexing all of Twitter at this time," Microsoft said. "We picked a few thousand people to start, based primarily on their follower count and volume of tweets."
Microsoft replaced its previous search engine with Bing in late May in a bid to compete with search market leader Google and number two Yahoo!
Web analytics firm StatCounter said Wednesday that Microsoft had increased its share of the search market in the United States in June but still lags behind Google and Yahoo!
StatCounter said Microsoft carved out an 8.23 percent share of the US search market in June, up from 7.21 percent in April and 7.81 percent in May.
Yahoo!'s share of the search market was 11.04 percent in June, up from 10.99 percent in May but down from 11.27 percent in April.
Google continued to dominate the search market with a 78.48 percent share in June, down slightly from 78.72 percent in May and 79.07 percent in April.
(c) 2009 AFP
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