Is Twitter Search a Threat to Google?

Posted on February 25, 2009

Twitter Search

Chris O'Brien at the Mercury News has an article about how Twitter's search tool could ultimately be a threat to Google.

Very quietly, one of Twitter's most powerful applications has become its ability to allow people to conduct real-time searches.

In fact, the motto posted on Twitter's search page ( says, "See what's happening - right now." And many people do exactly that. During a live event or amid breaking news, a growing number of people are turning to Twitter search to follow the conversations among its users.

How much the behavior is growing is hard to say, since Twitter is privately held and doesn't release such figures. But the company thought enough of its potential to acquire a small New York company called Summize, a group of five engineers, which had built the Twitter search technology. Summize's site was folded into Twitter last summer.

Twitter's acquisition of Summize last year was a good move and greatly improved Twitter. The search tool can be very useful to find out about current events or breaking news although there have been complaints about a lack of more advanced queries. It doesn't really seem like much of a threat to Google's main search. It seems like more of a Technorati or Google Blog Search threat. It is potentially a threat to news searchers like Google News and Yahooo News if people decide to dump those tools in favor of Twitter's search.

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