Twitter's new super search takes to the air

Twitter search: A blast from the past.

Credit: Twitter

Social network service Twitter has improved its search engine, allowing users to search through Twitter's entire index of tweets. This represents a vast improvement over the old engine, limited to searching through content less than a week old. Many Twitter users are thrilled -- the new search allows revisiting those bittersweet tweets from a simpler time. On the other hand, some users want the old search back, because tweets thought buried and forgotten, now are no longer buried and forgotten.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers scroll through history.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

Zach Miner returns to those thrilling tweets of yesteryear:

Want to look at tweets posted during the 2008 summer Olympics? Or tweets you sent on your vacation a few years ago? Soon you'll be able to. Twitter is enabling users to search through its entire index of roughly half a trillion public tweets.  MORE

On the flip side, Caitlin Dewey flips over rocks to find creepy-crawlies:

Until Tuesday afternoon, when Twitter released its first complete index, digging up old tweets...was a surprisingly difficult task.

So if you wanted to surface, say, those profane...unsavory tweets that basketball's Kevin Durant sent circa 2009, you had two options: Navigate to Durant's timeline, put a weight on your keyboard's "down" arrow...or shell out thousands of dollars for an analytics service.

In other words, even Durant's more offensive missives were pretty darn safe. Until now!  MORE

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Since that first simple Tweet over eight years ago, hundreds of billions of Tweets have captured ... Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time. ... But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every Tweet ever published.  MORE

Federico Viticci operates with hashtags:

Right now, old tweets can be [searched] by switching to the All tab of the Twitter app, [it] supports a basic syntax to filter down tweets for users and dates. I was able to use two different search operators for usernames and dates.

Search operators (more here) can be used...and combined with hashtags and text to look more precisely in search results [to] find a tweet you're looking for. You can even save advanced searches you come up with and reuse them at any time.  MORE

Barbara E. Hernandez invests in infrastructure:

While Twitter didn't explain how much the [new search] service will cost the [company], it did refer to it as "a major infrastructure investment." More than the money, though, the idea that it took eight years to make this happen [shows] Twitter's priorities have not always been beyond the basics of the user experience.  MORE

So, Shaun Nichols redesigns the tubes:

Remember those regrettable tweets you posted years ago? The ones that thankfully, eventually, disappeared from trace? Twitter remembers. And now everyone else will, too.

Twitter's engineers had to redesign the processing pipeline generating the real-time...index to instead operate on slower but much larger SSD storage.  MORE

Meanwhile, Mark Cuban gets a jump (and rebound) on Spring cleaning:

Everyone who is a long time user of twitter should be downloading @getxpire for a fast way to clean out old tweets.  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites…so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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