The Bing search engine seems to be coming up with one surprise after another: It expanded Microsoft's share of the browser market slightly last month, and, better yet, it now includes Tweets from Twitter among its search results.
According to Web analytics firm StatCounter, Bing's market share among U.S. Web searches for June stood at 8.23%. Microsoft's previous search engine had just 7.21% in April, prior to Bing's launch in early June. Though the 1% swing doesn't sound like much, but if you think about how many billions of Web searches that equates to it definitely demonstrates that Bing is gaining some traction in the browser wars--even with the booster effect of its shiny brand-newness. Add in the fact that Google's market share slipped very slightly from 78.72% to 78.48% over the same period, and you get the picture.
And it's no wonder--it's a strong performer in plain search functionality, and the Bing team has added new features at a fantastic pace. Newest of all, and a definite one-up on Google, is the fact that Bing now includes Tweets among its search results. That means the software behind Bing is trawling through the load of messages from Twitter users, behind the scenes, to gather the data. Indeed Microsoft's own blog confirms this, but notes that initially it's only linking in the most "prominent" Twitterers, a few thousand or so, selecting the users "based primarily on their follower count and volume of Tweets."
It's a fascinating step, and it's real-timeness is confirmed by Microsoft as being a big target for Bing in the future--the Twitter link is an "initial foray into integrating more real-time data into our search results." According to reports from The New York Times, Bing will update its links to Twitter on a minute-by-minute basis. Great stuff to see on Bing...all that's left to ask is how quickly can Google respond with something similar?