Twitter take note: Today Google added a new feature to its search engine that allows you to search for topics at any point in time across Twitter’s public archive.
Of course, Twitter has its own search engine, which was made even more powerful with its acquisition of the Summize search tool. But while Twitter’s built-in search is great for current topics, it’s sort of clunky for dealing with tweets from the past — particularly since you need to rely heavily on Twitter’s advanced search page.
Google’s alternative Twitter archive search is more visual, and has the ability to help you find what you’re looking for without dealing with advanced search options. To use it, simply click the “Show Options” link on any search results page, and then choose “Updates.” You’ll be presented with the most recent updates around your search term, but you can also go back in time using the chart at the top of the page.
The feature will let you see what the Twitter-verse thought of a particular topic at any given time, and will also be useful for tracking your own past Twitter conversations — something which is far more difficult than it should be for a service that prides itself on conversation..
Google’s Twitter archive search is being rolled out in English globally over the next few days, and will initially support tweets going back to February 11, 2010. Eventually it will support the entire Twitter archive, back to the very first tweet on March 21, 2006. If you’d like to try out the feature now, check out this link.