Google Realtime: Social Media Monitoring

27th Aug, 2010

Google have re-packaged their Realtime search tool with a few useful new options that could turn it into a very useful social media monitoring service. Realtime was launched late last year to provide real-time results from a list of sources such as Twitter and Facebook, as they were being updated. Previously it could only be found in by clicking the updates option in Google search. This new version has its own page at

Some of the new features include;

– Get results from a specified region only

– ‘Full Conversation’ organises a series of tweets into chronological order, allowing you to browse an entire conversation at a glance

– Google Alerts for Updates, set up a Google Alert for real time results so you receive email notification once your keyword or phrase is mentioned across the web.

It’s a welcome addition to the Google range of services. A quick glance over it using ‘Liverpool’ as a search term and its providing real-time results as they happen from across the web about Javier Mascherano’s move to Barcelona. I can then narrow that down further by time and location to a specific conversation between people. While this might be viewed as a snooping service, it has many benefits from companies and organisations looking to identify what is being said about them, where and when, to breaking news stories and gathering information on the ground from those areas, or looking back at a specific moment in time. There’s also an option to see images posted within the updates – a service Twitter was looking at bringing out. Google say Realtime is being rolled out at present so there may be a few kinks that need ironing out. For example I’ve noticed that any search looking at a specific date in the past is only offering Twitter results, I’m not sure if that is deliberate of not, but time will tell. It also feel’s a little ‘busy’ with a lot of information coming at the user. Below is the official Google video released to explain the service.