I can search Twitter messages from the Twitter client Hahlo. I can search Twitter messages from FriendFeed. I can search Twitter messages from the iPhone app Twittelator. Hell, I can search Twitter from basically any Twitter-related service besides Twitter itself. But that finally may be about to change.
Twitter may have accidentally released a picture of a profile with search integrated into it, sharp-eyed CNET writer Harrison Hoffman noticed in a Get Satisfaction (on online customer service site) forum. The picture is of the newly redesigned Twitter and the tweet (Twitter message) at the top is from yesterday, so it’s not old. It shows a keywords search box underneath the Favorites column on the right-hand side of individual profiles. It’s worth noting that the profile in the picture is Jack Dorsey’s, Twitter’s chief executive. Certainly, Twitter could be testing out new functionality on his profile.
Implementing search on Twitter is really just a matter of integrating its own Twitter Search site to show results on twitter.com. Twitter bought Summize back in July and shortly thereafter renamed it Twitter Search. But so far you still have to go to that separate site, found at search.twitter.com, to do a search. Twitter does have a people search on the site, but no keyword search, which Twitter Search integration will give them.
I’ve contacted Twitter about the validity of the picture and will update if I hear back. [Update below.]
Update: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone tells me that the image was in fact a screenshot of an admin account, which Twitter uses to experiment with new features. While search integration in the site is definitely coming, he said it might not end up in that location and couldn’t say when exactly it would be implemented as “there are still details to be worked out.”