Ladies and Gentlemen, the fight for real-time search has hitmainstream “social media” users. CNET was one of the first to breakthe news late today about Facebook getting Twitter-like search. This on the same day that Facebook also announces the purchase of FriendFeed, the key players are not pulling any punches – the triggers are getting pulled on strategy plans at a dizzying clip.
Despite those who point to Microsoft as yet another corporation unable to change fast enough and sure to be fodder for a future Harvard Business Review whitepaper— the reality is there are a lot of very smart people who work atMicrosoft, and whenever Microsoft focuses on a market, history hasproven that to be a key inflection point and harbinger for the “nextbig thing”. Just look at what they have been able to do with pastparadigm shifts and catalysts in shaping the world of Word Processing,Desktop Operating Systems, the Office Productivity Suite, the Browserand Gaming. Sure they misplayed the whole “mobile music scene” butthey have their signs set on Search 2.0 – and the competition haskicked it up a notch. Time will tell if Microsoft can repeat historyor if this will be remembered as a doom loop of merely a defensive play.
It appears as if I was one of the lucky ones who had this featureturned on – here’s what I saw when I logged into Facebook today:
This is a **big deal** folks. Even quicker thanthe weather in Southern Ontario has been churning this summer, Facebookis suddenly a real player, and I would contend. potentially the soonnto be established current leader in real-time searchfor the mainstream. The screen shot above shows my search for chatteron the helicopter crash in the hudson – the resulting “real-time”stream of search results was far richer than what I could get fromTwitter, as on Facebook (as in real-life right Ken?), we are notlimited to only 140 characters.
With the explosive growth of the Internet, even Google has longrealized that its prized search engine would eventually get “long inthe tooth”, as users become more frustrated with finding “relevant”search results amidst a backdrop of online content that is growingexponentially.
It almost appears that “the mighty Google” are running scared -first with defensive comments and a perception of a reactive responseto the Microsoft and Yahoo search deal, followed soon there after withnews of Bing’s modest, yet undeniable inroads being made into Google’s search market share. And very quietly, Google has responded today by releasing a new Google Search infrastructure redesign that is still in development. You can try it out on their sandbox server here! You may not notice much difference, but compared to the productiongoogle search, results are ranked slightly differently. It seems likethere is some preference being given to recently updated “highrelevant” content compared to some “older links” – most significant isnot “what’s different” at this point in time, but that we’re actuallygetting a sneak peek to something that is not even far enough along tocarry the distinctive beta tag that sits on so much of Google’s application landscape.
Who is the big loser at this stage? As I see it, Twitter.
The Twitter team invented this new market, but seem to be sitting by, struggling with infrastructure, performance and spammer challenges. Sleeping at the wheel? Or will they be next with a big announcement – their recently redesigned “front page” perhaps “overdue” – but hardly relevant.
I still believe this is Twitter’s race to lose. The “start up” that needs to grow up fast.
Microsoft has bought a ticket to the race and is getting it’s car ready to roll.
Facebook looks like it really wants to win – it’s already lapping the track.
And we’ve all got a front seat ticket – enjoy the race. We’re just getting warned up!
This one may just be a question of leadership. Or maybe they’ve got a problem with monkeys at Twitter.