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Hot on the heels of Scoopler’s Twitter search launch last week and Twitscoop’s relaunch this week, British competitor TweetMeme today launched a significantly enhanced set of Twitter search tools. TweetMeme is run by news aggregator Favorit.

The trick to using TweetMeme’s new features is to look at the right-hand side of the page, where your eyes are accustomed to avoiding ad banners. There are four tools for refining your search: Age, which will return results from the past hour, day or week. Category, which displays a few automatically created broad categories into which your search fit. Tweets, which lets you see only results that have been tweeted more than 100, 500, or 1,000 times — if such links exist. Channels, the fourth tool, slots your search into vertical topics such as “iPhone” rather than the category “Technology.”

Favorit founder Nick Halstead, the man behind TweetMeme, says the company ranks results on five different parameters, only one of which is the timestamp on a tweet. TweetMeme’s focus is to provide a representative sample of the larger flood of tweets for popular topics. “If you show every real search as it appears,” Halstead said in a phone interview from Reading, England, “most users will turn it off quickly.”

A good sample search is “Star Trek,” followed by clicking the 500+ button at the right. You’ll discover two things: First, the Onion’s parody TV news report on the new movie is still the most-tweeted link. Second, TweetMeme needs to improve its recognition of duplicate links.

Halstead founded Favorit in October 2007 with £150,000 from an undisclosed angel investor. The company took about £500,000 in additional angel funding in January, and is now considering a series A round.

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