Twitter Search Needs More Advanced Queries

Posted on December 27, 2008

Twitter Search OperatorsAs Paris Lemon points out there's a bitchmeme on Techmeme right now started here by Loic Le Meur about using Twitter authority as a way to reduce the number of results in a Twitter search. Since it has been suggested it will likely soon be created by someone using the Twitter API if it hasn't already been created. Technorati uses authority on its search to show only posts from blogs that have a certain number of inbound links.

Critics of a Twitter authority search say including only Twitterers that have large numbers of followers is unfair and that it will cause people to try and obtain more followers by following more people. It would also tend to favor people who have been on Twitter longer and tend to have more followers. There are a few of other ideas being suggested as alternatives - some can be found in the comments on TechCrunch's post. They are:

  • Provide a way to limit search results to only tweets that have been responsed to or re-tweeted.
  • Allow people to search only tweets from people that they follow.

    Twitter's search tool already has a few ways to reduce the number of tweets in a search. You can search a specific person's tweets and you can return only tweets that contain a link. You can also limit searches to tweets by people near a specific place. You can limit the results to tweets only from certain dates. It's clear these tools aren't enough and the Twitter search engine needs more advanced filtering. The more ways available for users to search tweets the better.