There is a battle for the real-time data feed.
Up to the minute conversations and real time search are clearly what users want, and Twitter at the moment is delivering that better than anyone.
Google is not even close at the moment providing anything that resembles real time search. They did just launch Caffeine, which is a new search engine designed to be faster and perhaps eventually offer real time search data, but at the moment it’s not even close.
Facebook just launched their new search engine yesterday which delivers real time search data, along with many other custom features such as “people”, “pages”, “groups”, “posts by friends”, and what seems to be the direct competition to Twitter, the “posts by everyone”.
So looking at Twitter’s competiton:
Google – there really isn’t any competition here and I think Google is frantically trying to come up an answer to Twitter’s real time search engine.
Facebook – with the new search engine release yesterday, Twitter needs to look long and hard at adding “comments”, and “likes” functionality to their updates so that users can engage in conversations on Twitter, instead of just through hashtags, replies, and direct messages.
Bing – I think that Bing is in a great position to compete with all of the above because they haven’t yet established a brand, and they have the flexibility of being “the new kid on the block” to take their search engine in many different directions.
Ultimately, Twitter is dominating everyone in the real time search war at the moment. However, with Facebook’s new launch, and once people start figuring out how to use it, it could be a game changer and leave Twitter now chasing Facebook in the search war.
What Twitter needs to do is simply add “comments” functionality to their updates so that people can leave comments, and discuss updates right there on the spot – just like you can in Facebook.
If Twitter makes that change, and the comments are crawled and indexed for search, then I don’t see anyone being able to slow down the dominance of Twitter!