Microsoft Corp has sealed agreements to access real-time content on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, a boost for its fledgling Bing search engine.
Bing, which hopes to take on current dominant search leader Google Inc, will have access to Twitter's entire store of public data in real time, Microsoft executives said on Wednesday.
It was unclear if Google -- which commands about 65 percent of the search market -- is seeking similar tie-ups, as tech blogs have reported.
Google said in an emailed statement on Wednesday: At Google we strive to connect people to all the world's information and this includes social and real-time information.
We're currently exploring new ways to further integrate this type of information beyond what we already offer with services such as Search, News, Profiles, Reader.
The terms of Microsoft's deals -- which are non-exclusive -- were not disclosed.
Qi Lu, president of online services at Microsoft said data from Twitter -- the popular microblogging site that allows users to broadcast 140-character messages called Tweets -- would be useful to Microsoft's standard search results.
The data could provide signals about which content on the Web is most popular and most relevant to search queries.
You can use those to augment today's search experience, Lu told a San Francisco Internet conference.
From Wednesday, Twitter search results will be accessible on a special section of Bing as a beta, or test product. Microsoft plans to present the most popular Tweets of the moment, while allowing Web surfers to view Twitter messages that contain links to other Web content. Microsoft will filter out spam and other extraneous data.
Conversely, the Facebook deal encompasses only messages that Facebook users have flagged as viewable to the public, a practice that is relatively new and not as widespread on the social network, in which users typically send messages to groups of friends.
Microsoft has inked a deal to entwine its search efforts with Yahoo's.
Yahoo's chief technology officer, Ari Balogh, told reporters that, generally speaking, any data Microsoft's search engine has access to would also be accessible to Yahoo under the terms of their partnership.
Yahoo already has been testing the limited inclusion of Twitter messages within Yahoo search results to certain users, he added.
All content on the Web is relevant to search, Balogh said. He thought people would not want to go to three or four sites to access different types of data, such as Twitter results. (Writing by Edwin Chan; Editing by Richard Chang and Carol Bishopric)