* Updated at 6:55 PM ET.
In two separate, non-exclusive deals, Microsoft will partner with Facebook and Twitter to show status updates in its search site, Bing. Microsoft officially announced the deals at the Web 2.0 Summit today.
While rumors of the Microsoft-Twitter deal have been circulating for a few weeks, integrating Facebook updates is a surprise twist, although not entirely unexpected, given Microsoft’s $240 million investment in Facebook two years ago. Google is said to be in talks with Twitter and Facebook as well.
*(It didn’t take Google long to respond. An official blog post reveals that the company has also signed a deal to index real-time information from Twitter).
Twitter has been gaining notice as a valuable source of real-time information. For example, news often breaks on Twitter before hitting major media outlets and well before showing up in search engines. In January Yahoo announced TweetNews, which ranks Yahoo News stories based on Twitter posts.
The integration seems to be a win-win situation: social networking sites will presumably help search engines capture trending news topics more quickly, while the search engines can offer needed revenue streams to the social networking sites and help solidify their legitimacy. It also makes it harder for businesses to ignore social media: with the integration, having Facebook and Twitter accounts can also help a company gain prominence in the much-coveted top spots on search results.