Microsoft's Bing just added Twitter feeds to its news pages, giving readers the ability to quickly scan the latest buzz about the biggest events.
When Web surfers search Bing News for a story, tweets now show up in a scrolling column on the right side of the page under the heading "Public updates." So news links today about Elizabeth Taylor's funeral were accompanied by brief tributes from fans as well as promotions from publications linking to articles about the actress.
The idea behind the new Twitter feed is to give readers yet another source of information. "As we've seen with the tragedy in Japan or political turmoil in the Middle East, real people are relaying timely and compelling items not captured by traditional outlets," Betsy Aoki, a Bing senior program manager, writes on the Bing blog.
The Twitter feed adds a bit of clutter to a page that also includes related video to the news topic as well as links to people in the news related to the search. But it also differentiates Bing News from its much larger rival, Google News.
Microsoft also expanded its "Liked Results" feature, highlighting links that Facebook friends have "liked" directly in Bing's search results. Users have to be signed into both Facebook and Bing for the feature to work.