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Google CEO: Twitter is Poor Man's Email

Over the last couple of weeks, blogs have been talking about how Twitter’s search feature is serious competition for Google. It looks like Google’s CEO not only doesn’t believe the talk, but doesn’t seem to like Twitter much either.

While no one is arguing that Twitter's technology is better than Google's, Twitter’s search tool has the added advantage of being updated quite a bit faster than Google’s. The tweets of all those thousands of people give a pretty good picture of what’s going on around the world and the microblogging site is often the first place people hear about world events and disasters.

That said, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had some pretty harsh words about Twitter. At Morgan Stanley’s technology conference yesterday afternoon, BusinessInsider quotes Schmidt as saying. "Speaking as a computer scientist, I view all of these as sort of poor man's email systems." Yikes. Given the amount of Twitfests that were held this year and of course, all the hubbub about how the service could give citizen journalism the push it needs to make it into the spotlight, this comment seems a little shortsighted.

Schmidt went on to say that while Twitter has some aspects of an email system, it doesn’t have the full offering. He added that though the innovation was great, Google has a very successful IM product and “that’s what most people end up using,” and finished up on a more cheerful note by saying the site's success is wonderful and it really shows how many ways there are to communicate, especially if you’re willing to do so publicly.

We can’t help but feel like Schmidt fails to see many of the uses Twitter users have found for the service. He doesn't seem to know much about Twitter, despite the fact that the company recently joined (@google if you're interested). His plug for the company account only threw more weight behind the theory that his Twitter knowledge is not exactly up to scratch as he says, "Go ahead and listen to our ruminations as to where we are and what we're doing in 160 characters or less." Does Google get 20 characters more than the rest of us? Who knew! What are your thoughts on Twitter? Here to stay or just a fad?