Google has temporarily disabled the Realtime feature, which gives users results from Twitter and a bunch of other real-time news sources, on its search engine after a 2009 Twitter deal expired.
The Realtime team announced the change on its Twitter feed: We've temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We're exploring how to incorporate Google+ into this functionality, so stay tuned, The Inquirer reported.
Google released a statement in Search Engine Land about the change:
Since October of 2009, we have had an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results through a special feed, and that agreement expired on July 2.
While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that's publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google, the statement said.
The shutdown of realtime comes just as Google is in the process of rolling out Google+, its new social networking initiative. Reports suggest that Google plans to integrate Google+ feeds into Realtime, effectively replacing the information that came from Twitter.
It's not really clear whether Twitter will renew the deal, or the two companies renegotiate the terms. But there might be a resolution soon because Twitter is unlikely to have decided to pull the plug on Google, particularly considering its dominance in the market.
Google still has the option of reviving the feature in the future but it doesn't need Twitter as badly as it did two years ago. So it can drive for a harder bargain with Twitter. If Google+ is truly ramping up for a fight with Twitter, it’s no wonder the companies aren’t working together on this product any longer.