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GOOGLE FOLLOWS MICROSOFT’S LEAD BY ANNOUNCING PLANS TO COLLABORATE WITH TWITTER

Just after the news broke that Microsoft would start indexing Twitter updates through their newly launched search engine Bing, Google also revealed that they have plans to follow suit and will also begin delivering status updates from Twitter in the near future.

The real-time Twitter search feature was announced by Microsoft at a web summit in Australia this week. The organisation said they also have plans in the pipeline to start delivering status updates from the other giant in social networking, Facebook.

Microsoft’s Bing is already displaying the Twitter updates. The service brings the user tweets related to a topic typed into a search box taking into account, the author, content, and how many times the tweet has received comments or been re-tweeted. It is not yet known when they will begin delivering the Facebook updates as well.

One of the biggest players from the world of search engines, Google who currently command an estimated 65% of the US market, confirmed that they too have come to an agreement with Twitter and their update service will swing into action in the coming weeks.

Not ones to be left out in the dark, Yahoo! are also believed to be in the process of negotiating a deal with the micro-blogging site Twitter.

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YAHOO! AND TWITTER JOIN FORCES

Yahoo! has signed a deal with the popular micro-blogging site Twitter which will see Yahoo! users able to access Twitter via a whole host of Yahoo! products.

It’s not unusual for search engines to partner up with social networking sites such as Twitter. Only last year Google and Microsoft’s Bing signed a deal with Twitter to start indexing their updates on their search pages.

However the Yahoo! deal will go beyond simply indexing Twitter updates. Users of Yahoo! will be able to access their Twitter accounts from the company’s homepage, and from their Yahoo! email account, bridging the gap between social networking and other technology packages more than ever before.

Bosses at Yahoo! say the new venture will enable their customers to access their social networking pages more quickly and effectively by integrating Twitter services into several areas of the Yahoo! brand. Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president, consumer products group, Yahoo! described the new partnership as “simplifying people’s lives by bringing their social worlds — and the world —- together for easy access.”

How the service will work has not yet been revealed, neither is it known how much the deal between Yahoo! and Twitter has cost.

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REPORTS OF POSSIBLE YAHOO! ACCOUNT HACKING IN CHINA

It’s been reported that a number of Yahoo! accounts belonging to journalists and those involved in activist groups related to China have been hacked into over the last month.

The news comes just days after Google announced it is planning to remove its Chinese language search services from China because of a spate of cyber-attacks and concerns over censorship. Google has now redirected its search engine enquiries offshore to the freer Chinese territory of Hong Kong.

Some journalists and an analyst have reported not being able to access their accounts for several weeks. When they tried to log-in, they were faced with a message which told them to contact Yahoo! as a problem had been detected with their account. When access had been regained, many have noticed that their accounts have been set to forward onto another unknown account.

Exile group World Uygur Congress say their Yahoo! account has been inaccessible for over a month. A spokesperson for the group says the organisation believes information from its account has been downloaded.

Yahoo engineers restored the access of one of the journalist’s accounts, but couldn’t confirm if the other problems affecting the accounts of the other journalists was related.

It’s not known whether Yahoo will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the problems affecting Yahoo accounts of selected individuals in China.

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YAHOO REVEALS ITS MOST POPULAR SEARCHES OF 2010

The search engine Yahoo has revealed its annual list of the most popular searches made throughout the year of 2010.

While the list is mainly dominated by celebrity names, heading up the poll in the number one spot of subjects searched on Yahoo this year was the BP oil spill on the Gulf Coast.

Last year, Yahoo reported that the death of Michael Jackson was the most searched subject on their search engine knocking US pop star Britney Spears off the top spot after three years. In 2009 Britney dropped to 5th on the Yahoo most searched chart, and dropped further this year to 10th place.

Although Yahoo’s poll is a fairly good indicator of trends within the online world, Google is still the most used search engine in the world and boasts billions of users worldwide, therefore their chart, which is due for release later this month, is likely to better gauge the popularity of people and events who’ve dominated the past 12 months.

Microsoft’s search engine Bing recently revealed their list of popular searches of 2010 which named American reality TV star, Kim Kardashian as its number one, while AOL named Tiger Woods as their most searched subject of the year.

The bulk of subjects trending on this year’s Yahoo search engine results list were celebrity names including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Megan Fox.