Big news round Twitter-way, with Apple adding a few more official Twitter accounts, and Microsoft Bing and Google paying for unrestricted access to real-time search Twitter's firehose of user status posts.
First up, while Apple's never been accused of "getting" social media, and it may come as a surprise they're using Twitter at all, it's not so surprising that -- rather than customer feedback, support, or insight into the iron curtain that shrouds Cupertino -- these accounts are just news/marketing updates on when the latest music and media hits the world's most popular download service. (And some seem less than active at the moment). Baby steps?
Also both Microsoft's Bing and Google have now announced partnerships with Twitter. Bing says:
Were you as fascinated by the 6-year-old boy floating away in a balloon as we were? Was it a hoax? We know that people are going to twitter more and more for information surrounding all the latest chatter. You can now search for what people are saying all over the web about breaking news topics, your favorite celebrity, hometown sports team, and anything else you use Twitter to stay on top of today.
We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you'll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.
Does this hybrid search model appeal to you? Let us know!
[Ballmer photoshop re-used in honor of Windows 7 launch day]