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Twitter Introduces New Search Functionality As It Looks For Revenue Streams

Micro blogging phenomenon Twitter has finally rolled out its new and updated right hand side column which makes search more central to the service and also introduces trending topics as well.

Search on Twitter is in its simplest form and, as the rest of the website, is powered using some Ajax techniques. You can save your searches but the you won't find explicit Boolean capabilities here, just basic word search. You will be able to access the normal search page as well.

The focus on search comes as the online service tries to improve the retention rate of the service which is currently very low compared to other social networking websites like Facebook or Myspace according to Research Analysts Nielsen Online.

This means that Twitter has to be creative to keep its users coming, hence the introduction of the search. Furthermore, users will be happy to discover the trending topics section as well which lists 10 popular topics in real time; clicking on them will display Twitter posts that contain the keywords in real time.

The "Following" tab moves down and together with "Trending topics", can be collapsed for a cleaner user interface. Twitter will be using the search functionality developed by Summize last July. Next up the list for Twitter will be the introduction of paid for text advertisement on the home page itself as well as in search results.

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Our Comments

Twitter is slowly but surely trying to get the pieces together to build a proper revenue generation plan. Search is pivotal to Twitter's future as users start looking for real-time services beyond Google. Right now Twitter's search functionality doesn't appear to be controlled by any algorithms like Google's pagerank, which makes it of little use. But watch out as Twitter enhances it.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.