Both FriendFeed and Twitter have seemingly been talked about non-stop in the blogosphere since SXSW ended (our coverage). That will continue at least one more day as FriendFeed has added search functionality.
This is an important step as FriendFeed tries to maintain traction with the users it has gained during its upswing in new memberships the past few days. This addition also highlights the glaring absence of search from one of FriendFeed’s most imported services, Twitter. While not quite as ridiculous as when Google Reader didn’t have search for several months after its launch — when Google, you know, made a name for itself with search — the inability of Twitter to implement a search feature in over a year since it started rising to popularity seems rather odd.
Adding search to Twitter has been talked about before. Back in September of last year, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey told TechCrunch that real time search would be added to Twitter “very soon”, and went on to suggest that historical search (of past Twitter messages) was only a couple weeks away. As of right now, more than six months later, all we have is a people search for contacts on Twitter.
However, with the addition of search to FriendFeed, there is now a slightly more roundabout way to search Twitter — simply do it through FriendFeed! I just tried a few sample searches and it works great. It even has an ‘Advanced’ search capability to drill down into results and only search select types of items, such as Twitter messages.
The addition of search is hardly a surprising addition to FriendFeed, after all, most of its key team members come from Google. In their post, FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor credits Jim Norris (another co-founder), as the guy who put forth all of the effort to get this functionality implemented. It’s surprising how quickly, and seemingly easily FriendFeed has taken Twitter to task on search.
For what it’s worth, Bret Taylor tells us, “We really don’t think of it as taking Twitter to task. FriendFeed is designed to make all the sites you use a little more social and a little more useful.” He goes on to say, “One of the benefits of the Open Web and Atom/RSS feeds is that you don’t need to choose a single service for all your needs. FriendFeed is built with that philosophy in mind.”
FriendFeed launched publicly in February after raising a $5 million angel round from some of its founders and Benchmark Capital (our coverage).
If Socialthing (our coverage) also gains search capabilities before Twitter does, perhaps we should be worried for the service after all (our coverage).
update: As John McCrea, Plaxo’s vice president of marketing notes in the comments, Plaxo Pulse has offered up search for several months now. Search will indeed be an important component of aggregation going forward (our coverage).
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