Google will be including Tweets in their public disaster alerts on Google Now

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) made a surprising announcement on Tuesday that it would start including Tweets in its public disaster alerts on Google Now. This marks a major turnaround for Google, as they have not been including Tweets ever since the two companies failed to agree on the use of Twitter’s ‘firehose’ data, back in 2011. At the time, the collapse of the deal was made very public, and Google then shut down its Realtime Search.

The reason for the inclusion of Tweets in the public alerts is to provide people with more context as to what the exact situation is, in their area. Google was quick to point out that the Tweets are sourced via Twitters public API, rather than the ‘firehose’, or real time data stream. Google also stated that for now, Tweets will only be used for this purpose, and that there are no plans to re-introduce Twitter driven real time searches, or any other use of Tweets.

google nowThe announcement certainly does pose some interesting questions. To many, this marks a possible partial reconciliation between the two social media giants, as Google is starting to use Tweets as a part of one of its products again. It also begs the question as to why there are no Facebook results in any of Google’s public alerts.

Google has stated that it is still looking at various other social products it could use, in order to make the public alerts more effective. It is also a somewhat public admission, that there is not very much real time conversation taking place on Google, with it having to rely on another source, in order to provide enough local context.