Google starts serving up MySpace status updates

The companies are following through on an announcement made in December

Google has started incorporating into its search results status updates that MySpace users have posted publicly.

The MySpace status updates will appear primarily in Google's real-time search engine, which users can surface by choosing the "Updates" or "Latest" options for filtering results.

The MySpace content joins other sources of Google real-time search results, including Twitter and Facebook's FriendFeed.

For Google, including status updates in its results is important as people and marketers increase their use of Twitter and similar micro-blogging and social networking services.

Meanwhile, MySpace expects to benefit from Web traffic generated by its visibility on Google's real-time search results.

"This partnership increases our users' ability to share and showcase content across the open Web and gives people outside the MySpace network even more ways to discover new content," wrote MySpace co-president Mike Jones in a blog post on Tuesday.

MySpace needs all the help it can get on the traffic front. Once the world's top social network, MySpace ceded that position to Facebook in 2008 after its popularity cooled off significantly.

The MySpace status updates will include links not only to short Twitter-like messages but also to photos and blog posts, according to Jones.

To consume and index the MySpace content, Google's search engine is tapping a MySpace API (application programming interface) that makes these real-time posts available.

When it unveiled its real-time search services in December, Google also said it had partnered with Facebook, but later Google clarified that it will only access content from public Facebook Pages, which are set up by companies and public figures to promote themselves, and not from individuals' Facebook profiles.

Facebook is also working with Microsoft to surface its real-time content on Bing, but it's not clear whether Microsoft will get access to content in Facebook profiles. Right now, Facebook gives its members the option to make part or all of their profiles available to everyone on Facebook. However, members can only make a small amount of basic profile information available publicly on the Web.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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