Looking to match rivals in providing up-to-the-minute Internet search results, Yahoo is running tests with several real-time search partners, sources familiar with the matter said yesterday.
Among the companies providing real-time results to Yahoo on a trial basis is OneRiot, whose data will be available initially to about 10 percent of Yahoo's users, said a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to speak about the deal and asked for anonymity.
A representative from OneRiot said she could not comment on the matter.
A second source familiar with the matter said Yahoo was conducting real-time search tests with other companies, as well.
Real-time search is emerging as a popular way to find information on the Internet, due in large part to the popularity of microblogging service Twitter, which lets users broadcast 140-character messages.
By searching streams of Twitter messages, a Web surfer can often get information faster than through some standard Web pages retrieved through traditional Internet searches.
Last month, Google and Microsoft announced back-to-back deals to make Twitter messages retrievable by their search engines.
Yahoo said in a statement that it was testing a new "search shortcut" that would include real-time results at the top of search results pages.
"The shortcut will only appear on certain queries that will be determined by Yahoo. This is a test designed to discover if showing such content is useful to people," the company said.
Yahoo signed a separate 10-year search deal with Microsoft in July, which is expected to close next year. Under the terms of that deal, any data Microsoft's search engine has access to also would be accessible to Yahoo, Yahoo Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh said last month.
He said at the time that Yahoo had been testing the limited inclusion of Twitter messages within search results to certain users.
Yahoo's deal with OneRiot, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, does not include any revenue sharing elements, according to the first source familiar with the matter.
One Riot, based in Boulder, Colorado, collects real-time Internet information from various sources, including Twitter, Digg and its own network of 3 million users that use the company's software. The company has raised $27 million (£16.3 million) in funding to date.