It’s been nearly three months since Twitter purchased Summize and renamed it Twitter Search. They still haven’t integrated Twitter Search into the main site, but they have made a number of other improvements:
- Greatly improved the reliability and performance of the site. Here’s the Uptime Report at Pingdom.
- Launched a well-received site redesign.
- Tackled spam – I have no proof of this, but my experience suggests there are fewer spam accounts than before.
- Launched the new Election 2008 site.
- Started posting “Trending” entries to the blog.
Those last two points are the most important, I think. When you visit the Twitter home page, it asks you a simple question: “What are you doing?” Until now, that question has been Twitter in a nutshell. Moving forward though, I think a new question becomes equally as important: “What’s trending right now?”
I’ve said for a long time (with regards to Twitter) that there’s value in noise. It might seem dumb or trivial for me to post a tweet that says I am sleeping, but what if everyone did? Heck, we don’t even need everyone, just a sizable percentage. Then we could ask the question “how many people are sleeping right now?” and have real numbers to answer it with.
Twitter seems to have two sides now – gathering the noise, and filtering it.
Lots of people already contribute to the noise on Twitter, and I think their user base will only continue to grow. So they’ve got that covered. Increasingly it seems that Twitter is working to extract value from that noise. That’s the area they need to focus on most. I’m not sure how they plan to monetize their creation, but I suspect this is a big part of it.
The Election 2008 site seems like an experiment. If it goes well, I’d expect them to launch a number of other mini-sites in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow expanded on the trending entries on the blog too.
For me, Twitter Search is already the #1 stop for news. It’s where I learned that O.J. Simpson was found guilty, and that the bailout plan had passed. I think others will increasingly turn to Twitter Search first also.
You tell Twitter what you’re doing, and they’ll tell you what’s trending. I can’t wait to see where this leads!