Also known to oldtimers as Summize, Twitter Search is hosted on the official Twitter server–but is routinely considered inadequate by many for its less-than-stellar retrieval rate, at times as low as 50 percent!
Results show the sender’s avatar, a link to the original tweet, and a link to Twitter.com to reply (assuming you’re logged in). You can also immediately see the client used to send that tweet, e.g. web, TweetDeck (), Twhirl (), HootSuite, etc.
Features include the ability to view tweets written in about 20 languages, an RSS feed subscription button for your query, one-click links to view trending topics, and an “advanced search” form. The results do not refresh in real-time, but you have to click where it says “refresh.”
If this is the official benchmark, what about its competition?
Starting with Twazzup, this is Twitter Search on steroids. For any given query string, you can see results down the left column that are updated in real-time.
A feature I like, albeit slow at times, is if you mouseover an avatar, a bubble pops up with another look at the avatar, a “follow” link to their homepage, and other information from their Twitter.com settings, such as locations, bios, website links, and the number of followers and friends.
Other features are vertical down the right column, including popular tweets, avatars of the trendmakers (those who are responsible for the most retweets), related photos, and the most popular links that people are tweeting or retweeting. In this case, since I typed in “mashable,” you can see @mashable and @tweetmeme. While not an immediate fan of the related photos section, I can see its usefulness during breaking events to be able to view popular twitpics without having to click tweeted links.
I also like the feature at the top of the page, just underneath the search bar, where for a given query, you can click grey buttons for popular trends within the query, e.g. a search for #redsox shows buttons for bases, beckett, papelbon, #orioles, #celtics, and so forth. A very well-developed application.
Not as feature-rich and real estate-heavy as Twazzup, Tweetzi is no less notable. Perhaps the best element it has that neither of the above applications do, is the ability for real-time playing and pausing. See the blue “Play” button? If you click it, you can watch your trending topic gather steam; and you can hit Pause whenever you want.
The problem involves too much space allotted for each tweet. I’m not far-sighted, so why are the developers assuming I can’t read smaller fonts? It’s a failure to force me to view two tweets without scrolling. That said, I appreciate the fact that avatars are not showing; you have to mouseover the tweet to see the avatar magically “appear” in the bottom right corner.
If the developers can improve the number of tweets I can view without scrolling, Tweetzi will go places.
Whereas Tweetzi uses a black bird for its logo, Tweefind has a pink bird. It’s a simple interface: type in your query, see the results. The only clickable items are the sender’s username and any in-message website links.
Despite the title of the page describing Tweefind as a Twitter search by user rank, it’s unclear what the dots otherwise mean. The developers shouldn’t assume that one is looking at the page title to decipher the dots. Maybe a mouseover script or a simple “FAQ” link could help?
The date of the sent tweet is shown and there is an ability to reply to the tweet, by clicking the right-most backwards arrow which takes you to a Twitter.com message screen.
If you want a basic search utility, Tweefind is it.
If you want a search application even simpler than Tweefind, look no further than Twittersearch.com. Or is it called Zeitbase? No logos here. Meet the definition of basic.
Type in your query, hit the Submit button, and voila! But that’s it. I’m guessing someone wanted to cash in on search engine visitors typing in Twittersearch and not Twitter search; and bam! It’s also disappointing there are no links for help or support.
Are you seeing a pattern yet? Like Tweefind and Twittersearch, Flaptor offers a search GUI that is very reminiscent of the last two screen shots.
The key difference is an RSS link. If you scroll through the earlier screen shots above, this is the second (after the official Twitter Search) to offer a one-click RSS link of your results. From the company that developed the open source Hounder search engine, sometimes the little things count. Is that enough to bring this little app over its competition?