Twitter Expands and Improves Search With New 'Discovery Engine'

Twitter is getting ready to roll out an update to its in-site search system. The new Twitter Search, referred to as "The Discovery Engine," is currently under trial with a limited subset of users and will reach all accounts once testing has finished.

The Discovery Engine: Next-Gen Twitter Search

The updated Discovery Engine/Twitter Search returns results right on your Twitter home page -- putting them where your primary stream would typically appear -- rather than placing them on a separate results page.

Twitter Search Discovery Engine

It also adds the intriguing ability to save a search and keep a dynamic box with its results on the side of your home page. You could, for example, add in a box to always show the latest tweets mentioning your name or your company name. The Discovery Engine will also bring the recently unveiled Trends feature to the home page sidebar.

The Reality of It

This definitely seems like a positive step toward making the Twitter home page more useful. At this point, though, it seems most regular tweeters do their business from a third-party client such as Twhirl or TweetDeck, so one has to wonder how much play the new functionality will actually get. Maybe eventually, the Twitter site itself will become robust enough that new users will stay within its confines rather than seek an API-powered alternative. Maybe.

In any case, the saved search concept is a good idea that could come in quite handy. For my purposes, I hope the gang over at TweetDeck looks at integrating a similar option soon, too.