By Jami Miedema

Social media tools have become many people’s go-to sources for the latest news. Has anyone found out the result of a sports game by a friend tweeting from the event, or realized your college roommate is now married from their Facebook status?

Now imagine these tools delivering meaningful news on a global scale the second it happens. This is exactly what Twitter is aspiring to do.

Recently, Google and Bing struck deals with Twitter to have access to a feed of real-time tweets. From an article I read, Twitter is becoming the forerunner for breaking news. For example, when an earthquake hit San Francisco, people were tweeting about it almost instantaneously, while it took 10 minutes for the U.S. Geological Survey to confirm the quake. Similar instances of Twitter as a real-time news source were also seen surrounding events such as the U.S. Airways flight emergency landing on the Hudson and terror attacks overseas.

You may be asking yourself, why does this matter? Is it really important if we receive our news now or in 10 minutes? Well, we all know the saying, time is money. And these social media tools can help businesses diagnose problems and reach customers faster than ever. Are people tweeting negative comments about your company’s product or service? Wouldn’t you like to know right away to fix the issue and re-gain your client’s trust? Or how about finding instant reviews of your newly released product to know if it’s meeting your customer’s expectations? Because of these reasons, I think receiving news as it occurs can be very beneficial, especially for businesses. So while you may not need to know, Duke made it to the final four! the second it happens, there are other updates you may find useful to yourself and your company.