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Google Starts Twittering News Headlines

As the Internet becomes a more capable platform for real-time information delivery, Google is looking to make more of its services as speedy as its search engine.

As the Internet becomes a more capable platform for real-time information delivery, Google is looking to make more of its services as speedy as its search engine and to extend its reach.

On Monday, Google launched a Twitter channel to deliver Google News headlines, a move that underscores Google's interest in moving news delivery from the five-minute auto-refresh cycle of the Google News page to something closer to the broadcast model.

Such headline tweets may provide a marginal acceleration of news transmission over RSS feeds, though Google News already offers more or less instantaneous headline delivery through e-mailed Google News Alerts.

Google News users can expect further news delivery enhancements before the end of the year. According to a report in a Hollywood-centric blog called The Wrap, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company plans to roll out in about six months a personalized service to deliver news to users. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for further details.

Really, the speed at which Google News stories become available is dependent upon the frequency that Google reindexes news source sites, a period that varies based on the site's typical publishing frequency. However, Google's opening of a Twitter channel should be seen as a continuation of the company's interest in rapid and broad information delivery. If Google doesn't acquire Twitter, it almost certainly will bring Twitter-like instant communication capabilities to more of its services.

A likely venue for this is Apple's iPhone, not to mention other smartphones including those running Google's Android software. With the iPhone 3.0 software that's currently being beta tested, iPhones will be able to receive push notifications. This should make real-time location-based data delivery and ad delivery more feasible outside of the context of user-initiated search. Many merchants, with the user's consent and location, will be happy to reach out through mobile phones to passersby with ads or discounts served by Google.

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