Back in 2009 Google entered into a contract with Twitter which allowed Google access to Twitter Stream. Google used Twitter Stream to power Google Realtime Search. On 2nd July, 2011 Google’s contract passed its expiration date. It is not yet known whether Google is negotiating with Twitter to extend the original contract or not. In an official response Google said:
“While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google,” the company said Monday. “Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.”
A Twitter representative added, “Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses. That agreement has now expired. We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers. And, we work with Google in many other ways.”
Although Google.com/realtime returns a 404 page, I reckon the service is not dead yet. Google will probably reignite the service through its own Google+ “social network”. It will however take time before Google+ becomes popular enough to have a credible feed of public status updates.