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You are here: Home / Computing / Not-for-Sale Twitter Expands Search
Not-for-Sale Twitter Is Expanding Search Functionality
Not-for-Sale Twitter Is Expanding Search Functionality
By Patricia Resende / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
In recent days the spotlight has been on Twitter and rumored acquisitions of the micro-blogging company by contenders such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. Twitter's founders, however, have pulled the plug on the speculation, saying the San Francisco-based company is not for sale.

"No. We are not for sale," Biz Stone, Twitter's cofounder, told ABC's The View host Barbara Walters after she asked about the acquisition rumors.

While Stone and cofounder Evan Williams put the acquisition rumors to rest, Twitter Vice President Santosh Jayaram discussed Twitter Search and its future.

Twitter Search will be used to crawl information from links by Twitters to analyze and then index the content for future use, Jayaram, a former vice president for search quality at Google, told Webware. Currently Twitter Search is only used to search words included in tweets, but not words in links.

Along with its new crawling functionality, Twitter Search will also get a ranking system. When users do a search on trending topics -- the top-10 topics people tweet about, which get their own link on the Twitter sidebar -- Twitter will analyze the reputation of the tweet writer and rank search results partially based on that.

Changes Expected

Updates to Twitter's search functionality were expected, since Twitter has access to a lot of data and needs to find a way to get revenue. Twitter's founders also hinted about such functionality when they first announced Twitter Search.

"Twitter teaches us new and amazing things every day, and a big lesson learned is that search is so much more than a box and a button," according to an official Twitter blog post. "As public tweets fly in from around the globe, we analyze them to detect when certain words or phrases occur with higher frequency."

The company added that the trending phrases surfaced on the Twitter home page as its updated throughout the day, and are a compelling if rudimentary way to explore a collective global consciousness.

Attractive for Buyers

With all the links to Web sites of interest to Twitters, the company and its search capabilities are attractive to potential buyers because it can help users find information about what is happing in real time.

There have been several examples of the effectiveness of Twitter already. When a US Airways flight made an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River, the first photo to hit the Internet was through Twitter because a passenger on a nearby ferry took a photo of the aircraft in the water.

Another example was the terror attacks in Mumbai. People caught up in the attacks used Twitter to alert friends and family that they were safe.

Jayaram also personally benefited from Twitter real-time search while at Twitter's San Francisco office on March 30. He said Twitter engineers noticed an earthquake trending upward and seconds later the building began shaking, he told Webware. An earthquake struck 60 miles outside San Francisco and tweets about the earth rumbling hit Twitter's office before the quake did.

Image credit: iStock.

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