Twitter Search Leaves the Nest for Linked Pages

Those who are looking for Twitter to finally hit a revenue-generating home run may have to settle for a series of singles and line-drives instead. The microblogging service keeps rolling out new features that may eventually add up to a business model — the latest examples being the ability to search Web pages through links embedded in tweets, and to rank results based on reputation.

Twitter’s new vice president of operations, Santosh Jayaram, mentioned the new features during a Wednesday panel discussion at TIEcon, a conference for enterpreneurs in Santa Clara, Calif, according to a Cnet report.

Twitter will soon add the ability to search data within the links that users send to each other, said Jayaram, who was formerly in charge of search quality at Google. A recently added feature, trending topics — the most popular subjects that are the focus of user tweets — will also be ranked according to the reputations of senders.

No launch date was set for the new features; indeed, Jayaram said his company’s developers were still hard to work on them. However, when they arrive, they may bring value to Twitter in three ways: setting it up as a competitor to Google in real-time search; making Twitter an even more attractive acquisition target; and providing a path to monetization.

Searching the Web via Tweets

“I definitely think that the value for Twitter is in its search,” Kristen Nicole, social media expert and coauthor of The Twitter Survival Guide, told TechNewsWorld. “They’re really layering in more value for the interaction capabilities of Twitter, which I think will help build the community around Twitter in general.”

It was just last week that Twitter introduced its previous set of enhanced search features, including saved searches, the aforementioned trending topics and real-time search for user updates. They were needed to help clear through some of the information clutter that can build up with heavy Twitter use, Nicole said.

“Search has been one of the more difficult things for Twitter to set up,” she noted. “Being able to parse the type of information you need has been very difficult to do directly through Twitter.”

However, the company’s approach seems to involve taking some of the features offered by third-party applications — such as Tweetdeck — and integrating them into the core service, she added.

Searching for Twitter Revenue

The new features and recent hires all point toward business development.

A new, improved Twitter has the potential to replace other mainstream Web-based services now taken for granted by consumers and business users, Nicole said. Offer that service with a Twitter brand, and perhaps revenue will follow.

“I jokingly refer to email as a precursor to Twitter,” Nicole said. “You see a lot of direct communications in the workplace on Twitter for what we used to do on emails. With things like favorite-ing certain tweets, you are, in essence, bookmarking something, so the potential is there to become a bookmarking service.”

A recommendation service is another possible route to cash for Twitter, along with aggregated market research for brands based on what people are tweeting about goods and services, Nicole said. An interesting concept Nicole posited: vanity searches, based on the @yournamehere method for identifying one’s self on Twitter.

“When I put @KirstenNicole2 on my name tag at conferences, people know exactly what that means,” she said. “Google may be pushing their new profiles, but they don’t have anything that’s as simple and as easily recognizable for their own branding purposes. They could branch out into personalized searches — aggregated content related to particular individuals.”

1 Comment

  • Another company that is out for the buck.

    What has happened to the internet? It use to be totally free and a place where one could roam and discover new places and information.

    Is Santosh Jayaram about to turn Twitter into a Google clone in the length of a few lines of code? Maybe.

    "Search engine marketing" is the code and maybe Santosh plans on implementing SEM into Twitter. Right now Twitter is used for fun. The only revenue generating that I have seen happening is by the end users and some slick marketing corporations that target Twitter users. I think that all corporate ads on any personal Twitter site should be banded.

    I started using the internet in 1995 so I have seen lots of changes. All I can say is here we go again. This is a formula I have for both new useful and non useful internet based businesses.

    Eyes + marketing = Greed

    Twitter is used by so many people many of who are not Greedy. Why is it that the so called corporation entrepreneurs need show there greed and destroy what is now free and enjoyable as is.

    I AM so tired of seeing sites plastered with ads wanting to sell this or that to me. I refuse to click on most links that may make a buck for any corporation or site owner.

    If Twitter sells out to Greed I will personally quit using the service. Maybe Twitter should take a long look at what really keep a site alive. GeoCities is proof of life expectancy when corporate Greed plays havoc on a web site.

    I AM going to offer Twitter a simple solution to build a model form.

    How to use Twitter as a profit machine.

    1. Keep the free Services.

    2. Exclusive Membership Service.

    3. Membership Marketing Service.

    4. Micro Marketing.

    5. Charge for Corporate Tweets

    6. 50/50 share revenue earning with the eyes.

    I AM liking #5 and 6 If you want me to see your ad Pay ME not some corporation. After all it is My eyes you want to subject to your ad.

    A wheel barrow full of Penny’s is better than a hand full of Silver Dollars. Tweet that.

    Greg

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