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Google plans to include data from Google+ and other social networking websites when it reinstates its Realtime Search feature. The search giant is "actively working" on restoring Realtime Search, Google Fellow Amit Singhal told a search panel in Mountain View, California.
Realtime Search was considered to be a particularly useful feature during fast-moving global news events, such as the killing of Osama bin Laden. Facebook status updates and posts on Twitter were displayed alongside regular search results when users looked up a term that was among the news headlines.
However, search results have not included realtime data since July because an agreement could not be reached on how Google accessed Twitter's data. Mr Singhal said the product was not providing enough value in its previous guise. Google is now experimenting with including data from Google+ and other sources in a fresh Realtime Search feature, he said.
Mashable's Ben Parr said the plans show Google doesn't believe Twitter is essential to offering a good Realtime Search feature. The data collected from Google Instant search results, combined with that from Google+ activity, may well compare favourably with the Twitter feed. But despite Mr Singhal's confidence, it's hard to imagine that the loss of Twitter's data is not a blow to Google's plans.
Meanwhile, Mr Singhal revealed that Google was considering responding to the requests of Google+ users by adding a search engine function to the social networking website.
Creating a single-screen do-it-all product that users never have to leave makes a lot of sense, and this small gem of information from Mr Singhal is fuelling my speculation that first Google, then Microsoft and ultimately Facebook will try to deliver all their services through a single do-it-all interface as soon as possible.
The methods of delivery remain to be seen; might Windows 8 look a lot like Chromebook OS - with a Facebook clone in the corner of the screen and a Bing/Yahoo search function?