The micro-messaging service Twitter has taken the slow time during the holiday to bring back a feature that, like so many others, went away when the site was having performance issues during the earlier part of this year: people search.
Technically called Twitter Name Search, the area lets you search for a username, first or last name and returns results on the page ranked by the number of followers each user has. While it looks nicer than it previously did, it’s also undergone performance and feature upgrades, according to Twitter’s blog post:
You’ll notice that our new name search is much faster, more relevant, and it even has a phonetic similarity algorithm which is basically fancy talk for spell check on names. For example, if you type in “Even Williamz” it will ask you, “Did you mean Evan Williams?”
That last feature is definitely a nice addition, but all of this again begs the question: When on Earth is Twitter Search, Twitter’s tweet search engine, going to be built into the site? Right now, you still have to visit the separate domain, search.twitter.com to access the feature. This is because Twitter Search was formerly Summize, a third-party Twitter search engine before Twitter bought it earlier this year.
Right now, the only reference you can find to Twitter Search on twitter.com is on the footer of the site. It seems like Twitter Search is such a useful and powerful feature of the service that it should be front and center on the main site, not buried away.
After the Summize purchase, Twitter wrote on its blog:
We will be adding search and its related features to the core offering of Twitter in the very near future. In the meantime, everyone is welcome to access search.twitter.com
That was July; we’re still waiting.
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