In addition to indexing news sites, Google is now apparently moving to index the real-time Web, announcing yesterday that the new sources like Twitter and Facebook will be added over the next few days. To get an idea of what this will look like, I’ve inserted the short video below:
Yesterday, I noted how the useful lifespan of news was shrinking to seconds with services like Google News and other feed-based and email alerting systems. Now, with the real-time Web moving mainstream and growing in ubiquity, news as a value proposition outside of the real-time Web seems increasingly unlikely.
As Jason Jones asked in an infamous segment on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, “Why is ‘aged news’ better than real news?”
Short answer: It’s not.
What might this mean for information specialists, publishers, and editors? Tweets may beat your email alerts, and they’ll be indexed. Embargoes broken by Twitter and Facebook may be increasingly problematic. And perhaps most significantly, the audience will become even more powerful as they become the real-time Web and it becomes part of Google.
Google paid Facebook and Twitter to participate in this search initiative. Did they pay for content? Not exactly, since they don’t know the content they’ll get at any moment. Instead, they paid for permission and audience, for integration into these real-time watering holes. But people can’t be commoditized like the news, which points to how social media will ultimately become commercial in a big way.
The age of publisher-centric commodity information is ending.