The PR folks at Microsoft , Twitter, and Facebook are refusing to comment right now, but in a few hours some interesting news could come out of the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco when Qi Lu from Microsoft's Online Services Division takes the stage.
Microsoft is expected to announce it will incorporate both Facebook and Twitter's real time updates into Bing search results. The deals would be non-exclusive and separate from each other, and would represent a mind-shift for how Microsoft thinks about search.
Why is this a big deal? It would be the first time social status updates were incorporated into search results, and it would be the first time MSFT's search engine incorporated data that Google didn't have. Google has been in talks with Twitter about including Tweets in its search results, though nothing has been announced yet. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out for both Microsoft and Google: obviously not all Facebook status updates will be included, as many users keep theirs private, and users may get to select whether these updates are included in search results or not. But no matter what, these will be two huge new data streams. Twitter has some 54 million monthly users and Facebook has a reported 40 million updates—DAILY.
Microsoft says they "won't comment on rumors or speculation," and Facebook had pretty much the same response. But COO Sheryl Sandberg and VP Engineering Mike Shroepfer are speaking at Web 2.0 in San Francisco later today (2:30 pm pacific, 5:30 eastern).
I wouldn't be surprised if by then they're answering questions about what role Facebook status updates will play in Bing's search updates. If this announcement doesn't come today as expected, I bet it will come soon. And I also expect Google's announcement to be around the corner.
Check out my post on why you should want Tweets in your search results.
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