Google has announced a search deal with Twitter, which will see updates on Twitter appearing in Google search results.
The deal comes shortly after Microsoft announced it would include Twitter updates in its Bing search engine results.
Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google, said searches that will benefit from real-time information will include weather conditions in a particular place, because there will be tweets from people who are there with up-to-the-minute information.
Mayer said the importance of real-time data has grown exponentially as people find different types of uses for Twitter.
It has played an important role in helping to report international news events, especially those where the authorities have prevented information from being spread by tradition means like the Iran election earlier this year.
She said, "In the past few years, an entirely new type of data has emerged - real-time updates like those on Twitter have appeared not only as a way for people to communicate their thoughts and feelings, but also as an interesting source of data about what is happening right now in regard to a particular topic."