Twitter is on the verge of introducing some significant changes to the search functionality on its homepage to encourage its users to search more and hopefully, bring in some advertising revenues in the future.
Some users may already have noticed that search has been moved up from the Twitter page footer (or down from the top of the page depending on which version you are on) to a more prominent position in the middle of the page in the right side bar.
In a post on Twitter's official blog, Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of the online service, provides with more details about what exactly the Discovery engine will perform.
Stone says that "this way of experiencing search is aligned with Twitter's simple approach. Normally, the tweets you would see on your home page are from sources of information that you have curated over time".
Users will also be able to save their search, essentially bookmarking their result pages on the sidebar for easy access. This will allow search result pages to be generated in quasi real-time.
The move, it can be assumed, has been motivated by Twitter's desire to make search significantly more popular in a bid to rake in more revenues. According to Alexa, Twitter search is visited by only one twentieth of Twitter's online visitors.
In the long term, Twitter might be looking to make the micro-blogging website as popular for search as Google's Youtube. The world's most popular video website is also the second biggest search engine website in the the US behind Google.com
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Twitter search feature will suffer from one major shortcoming. It will only be searching in Twitter's tweets. That is unless, the micro-blogging service gets in bed with one of the five major search engine giants. A partnership with either Google or Microsoft is highly unlikely. This leaves either AOL, Ask or Yahoo. Also expect some serious redesigning to occur as the head designer from Google has announced that it is joining Twitter.
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