April 13, 2009

Twazzup Takes On Twitter Search to Make Sense of Real-Time Web

Twitter's acquisition of Summize in 2008 gained the red-hot status update service arguably the most impactful new entrant into the Web 2.0 space last year, as the company looked to harness the millions of daily tweets flowing through its system and make sense of it all. Now rebranded as Twitter Search, the former Summize product is being relied upon for breaking news, trends, and acting as the pulse of the always-connected community, staying well ahead of Google and other traditional search leaders. Today, a new entrant, Twazzup, is looking to extend the Twitter Search platform, by not only providing real-time updates to the search results, but also highlighting popular users, links and tweets relevant to searched keywords.

The New Twazzup: for Searching Twitter

If you're familiar with the Twitter Search interface, it's well defined by its highlighting of hot topics that are rising on Twitter, being discussed by the masses, as well as its tendency to pile up queued tweets that have not been displayed. To get the new tweets, you need to refresh. But not with Twazzup, who rolls in the new results in real time, much like FriendFeed's new beta interface. Also similar to that interface, Twazzup features a user-friendly pause button in the top right to slow things down a bit.

Twazzup Results for Obama

Twazzup Results for Baseball

Today, Twitter Search is all about getting you the results, period. Its options are very spartan. For example, if you search for Facebook, you see the results and can either reply to the author, or view the specific tweet. But there's no data about the authors or the topics.

On Twazzup, the same query for Facebook shows search results, and a helpful kind of subset of results that displays related topics. For Facebook, I could also click the word social, and see when both Facebook and Social are in the same tweet. (that result is here) Other topics, like networks, linkedin and strategy also pop up when both Facebook and social are combined.

But beyond combining search terms, Twazzup's right side column does more than just show hot topics, like Twitter Search does. It also shows a popular tweet that contained the search terms, top "trendmakers", who talk about those terms and drive retweets or click-throughs, and popular links that are spawned from those keywords on Twitter.

Twazzup Trendmakers and Popular Tweets for Obama

For me, searching Twitter is practically as useful as messaging via Twitter, as it offers a lens into not just what people "are doing", but what they are thinking, observing or talking about. Given Twitter's driving an ever-closer integration with its acquired Summize product, I expect more users to flock toward the standard Twitter Search than to new products that arrive, like Twazzup, but as Twitter thus far has done very little to expand the Summize product beyond its initial feature set, there is significant room for third party services to improve the status quo.

Twazzup can be found at http://www.twazzup.com, and on Twitter, of course, at http://twitter.com/twazzup. The company's CEO and Co-Founder is Cyril Moutran, who launched Yokway last year. (See our initial coverage)