With more than 6 million people now talking to one another on Twitter, the conversation is bound to get a little confusing. For Microsoft, which is spending $100 million to position its new search brand as the antidote to Internet noise, that confusion presented an opportunity.
Enter BingTweets, a new Web site from Microsoft and Federated Media that lets users follow trending topics on Twitter while simultaneously using Bing to browse search results for that topic.
“Often you’ll be on Twitter and you’ll see trending topics but have no idea what the topic is about,” Matthew DiPietro, a Federated Media spokesman, said. “Here you can click on a trending topic and learn about it through what Microsoft calls its decision engine and then tweet answers to your followers.”
BingTweets.com displays trending topics at the top of the page. When the user clicks on one, all tweets on the topic begin scrolling down the left side, while a window on the right automatically displays Bing search results on the topic. There is also a window where users can tweet the results of their search.
Whitney Burk, director of communications at Bing, used the search engine’s blog to present an example of how BingTweets could make Twitter and Web navigation more efficient.
“[W]hen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince comes out tomorrow, you may want to scan the official reviews, local theater listing, AND the latest Tweets on the movie to help you decide whether to rush to see it,” he wrote. “With BingTweets, you can cover all that ground in one place.”
BingTweets is the fourth in a series of sites that San Francisco-based Federated Media has built that aggregate Twitter feeds for a corporate partner. ExecTweets, which was also built for Microsoft, serves as a clearinghouse for tweets from business leaders. TitleTweets, created for AT&T, brought together tweets about the NCAA college basketball tournament. And CinemaTweets, built for Universal Studios, lets users follow Twitter conversations on movie news.
All the sites are made possible through a revenue-sharing partnership with Twitter, but DiPietro would not disclose how that revenue is split.
“Microsoft or Universal Studios will come to us and say they have this product or service or event that they are looking to promote in an authentic kind of a way that feels natural to the Twitter environment, and we help them do that,” DiPietro said.
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