Internet search went into its second decade without changing very much during the first. But over the last few years, search has been rapidly transforming from a service with results based solely on text to one with blended media (images, videos, books, etc.) and human input. All these improvements have expanded the power of search, making it more informative for users. Now, the latest gimmick is real-time search.

What is real-time search?

Real-time search involves looking for and finding online information immediately after it's published. If you need to know what's happening in the world right now, you want real-time search, the ability to search through information published on microblogging sites like Twitter. There's no delay between the time information is written and published, making it instantly searchable.

Microblogging consists of brief text updates, or micromedia such as videos, photos, and audio clips, which are published online for viewing. Updates, or tweets, can be sent by text message, instant message, email, digital audio, or the web, becoming searchable in real time.

Timeliness of information is what separates real-time search from general search due to the time lag in serving search results. Most content isn't searchable in real time since it must be written, published, and found. Information in real-time search is available instantly.

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