Twitscoop is a site that lets you track Twitter for the latest buzz. If it doesn’t show you the real power of what is coming in search, I don’t know what will.
It launched a completely new site today at 8am, and we were given a preview over the weekend. It’s services like this that show how companies like Google must clearly do something soon to be able to incorporate Twitter-like technology — because they’ll be left in the dust otherwise, at least when it comes to timely searches. To begin with, Twitscoop offers a tag cloud that changes in real time. As we watched it this morning, the word “Baghdad” suddenly grew to become the largest word in the cloud (see screenshot below). Turns out that a U.S. soldier shot dead five other U.S. troops at an American base in Baghdad. I clicked over to Google news and didn’t see anything about it. Equally as suddenly, words can shrink and fall of the page.
If you click on “Baghdad,” Twitscoop takes you to the stream of stories containing that word, so you can see and track the latest buzz.
Twitscoop competes against a number of other similar services, such as Tweetag, Tweetmeme and Twitturly. But Twitscoop’s search is more powerful than those sites in many ways. These others do things like looking at the number of times a tweet has been retweeted. But this can lead to a lot of noise, because professionals have created automatic tweeting for certain things and ecosystems that help them retweet (blog sites do this, for example). Twitscoop, however, crawls the entire Twitter timeline. It gets rid of everything except for English tweets, then tries to get rid of spam, and, finally, has an algorithm to get rid of non-relevant tweets (its building this as its secret sauce). It splits the tweets into words, and then tracks them for how frequently they are used relative to how often they’re regularly used (for example, the word Twitter is used a lot in tweets, more than just about any other word, but if that word isn’t being tweeted any more than it is usually, it doesn’t show up in the tag cloud). The company doesn’t track hash tags, because it says people forget to use them, there’s no common agreement on when to use them, and they often don’t exist for new events.
It features oAuth authentication, which lets you login safely through Twitter (without directly giving the site your credentials).
It has a bunch of other goodies, too. Search a stock ticker (using the format $appl to search for Apple’s stock price), and Twitscoop will return tweets referencing $appl, and lets you mouse over them to see real-time charts of Apple’s stock price as they are referenced in the tweets. It pulls up the charts via an API with Google Finance. Same for Twitpic. If you search for the word “Twitpic,” Twitscoop pulls all the tweets that contain a link to that Twitter-image service, and lets you hover your mouse over the Twitpic links to see a picture of the image.
It also lets you see charts showing term usage and how use of a particular term has changed over time. Search for “coffee,” for example, and then click “graph” by the search bar, and it will pull a graph showing the use of the word coffee over any time period. You can do it to look at what times of day people drink their coffee (see screenshot at bottom). Same for seeing when people eat their “pizza.” Turns out, habits like ordering pizza vary significantly according to season, the company finds.
When you input searches, tabs on those searches are created under the search bar. You can then drag them around as you please to rearrange your search preferences.
The company has existed for a year and now says it has 500,000 uniques.
Company founder Philippe Breuils says his goal is to build the fastest Web-based gateway to twitter. He’s off to a great start.