From devastating disasters to celebrity slips, a single mention on Twitter can turn into a trend in a matter of minutes. That’s why the micro-blogging site has been credited as the source for major breaking news stories and hundreds of high-profile rumors. Like it or love it, Twitter is a force to be reckoned with, so how is Google going to provide real-time news without it?
Last month, Google removed their Realtime search option after failing to come to an agreement with Twitter. They were still able to pull in posts from Facebook, but let’s be frank and say that Facebook isn’t exactly a bastion of breaking news.
Now, Mashable is reporting that Google is “actively working” on bringing Realtime back, only with Google+ as the main source of data. As the article reads, Google’s Amit Singhal didn’t say they wouldn’t be courting Twitter, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a high priority, which is understandable when you have your own micro-blogging source in-house.
The hitch is that even once (if) Google+ becomes heavily trafficked, it’s likely that the postings will resemble those you find on Facebook. Google already admitted, that Facebook wasn’t very effective as a real-time news source, so how is Google+ going to be any better?
If I give them some benefit of the doubt, there is the fact that Google+ is more business and tech oriented, so it could be a better source than Facebook for industry specific news. Outside of that, I don’t see it.
The real test will happen when the next big news story breaks. I’m not wishing a major disaster on any area of the nation, but it’s going to happen and how the Google+ community responds will be very telling.
In May, Sysomos did an impromptu survey of the rise in Tweets after the death of Bin Laden. Some of the first mentions appeared on Twitter and within 12 hours, there were 2.2 million Tweets about Osama Bin Laden. That’s news in real-time. That’s what’s happening now. I just don’t see how Google can move forward without that kind of speed and clout.