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From the day I signed up about two years ago, I’ve always seen the potential in Twitter. It’s a potential that the company almost let go to waste last year with its inability to stay up and work correctly. But it rebounded, and now it’s finally living up to its abilities. Yet during that time something else has become clear: There’s an offshoot of Twitter that arguably opens up more doors than Twitter itself: Twitter Search.
Twitter clearly recognized this too when it decided to purchase the Twitter search engine Summize last year. That service, now simply called Twitter Search, is able to scan tweets from millions of users instantaneously to paint a real-time picture of events and trends unfolding. But Twitter had oddly relegated Twitter Search to a second-hand product up until now. If you don’t know about it, the only way to currently find it on the site is a link buried in a list of links in the site’s footer. But that’s about to change.
Twitter is testing putting search front and center, co-founder Biz Stone writes today on the company’s blog. A search box will appear for a select group of testers in the upper right hand corner of the site. To the left of it there will even be a “Trends” drop down menu showing the hot terms people are currently tweeting about.
Twitter is quick to note that only users who have made their tweets publicly viewable will have their results show up in Twitter search results — lest they have a Facebook-style uprising on their hands. Stone also notes that some 90 percent of Twitter users choose to make their updates public. This means a huge database that is searchable — and undoubtedly monetizable if Twitter chooses to go that route in its quest to make money.
Stone notes that a full search-on-site launch will happen once they’ve “kicked the tires a bit” on this concept.
Twitter secured a new $35 million round of funding last week.
You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeatniks Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Chris Morrison, Tam Vo, Camille Ricketts, Dan Kaplan and Matt Marshall. We have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
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