Topsy wants to become the Google of Twitter search

Every public tweet on Twitter is now indexed and searchable through Topsy

Searching through Twitter's archive of tweets can be frustrating -- they are sorted on the site by Twitter's own algorithms, and older tweets tend to get buried. Google? Forget it. Topsy, an analytics company, wants to do it better.

The San Francisco-based company announced Wednesday that it has indexed Twitter's complete archive of public tweets dating back to 2006, giving users simple tools to search through it.

President Barack Obama's first tweet? According to Topsy, it was posted six years ago and read: "Thinking we're only one signature away from ending the war in Iraq."

People can use the tools for free at Topsy.com. The site offers more advanced paid tools that can be used, for instance, if marketers want to track the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.

Topsy is not new to this game. The company was founded in 2007, already offering tools for finding and analyzing data from the public social Web across millions of websites. Before Wednesday's announcement, the site indexed Twitter tweets as far back as 2010.

The company describes its service as a way for marketers, agencies and consumers to extract meaningful signals from the social media noise.

But by indexing Twitter's complete archive, Topsy is hoping to make it easier for the average person to find social data like tweets, links, photos and videos across the Web.

Known as "social search," it's an area that has been difficult for the major players like Facebook and Google to crack.

Facebook's goal is to "make the world more open and connected," but searching for content from outside the site is difficult when members use different privacy settings to share things only with certain people. The social network is trying to make a better search tool for users with Graph Search.

Google previously offered a way to search for information from people on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other sites through its Real-Time Search tool, but the feature was discontinued in 2011.

How going local with social is pumping up communications at Goodlife Gyms
How to command conversation: 3 social media command centres
Uni brings technology and intellect together to solve social media problem

Microsoft is trying to do more with social search through its Bing search engine. The site incorporates data from outside social networks such as Facebook and Twitter into how it displays search results involving people. But Bing still occupies a much smaller slice of the overall search pie compared to Google.

The Library of Congress is also trying to archive all of America's tweets.

Some of Topsy's competitors include DataSift and Gnip.

Being able to easily analyze users' activity on Twitter is also becoming increasingly important as the site aims to boost revenues with a possible IPO looming. Last month Twitter said it would be tracking users' tweets to measure marketers' sales in physical stores.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGooglesocial networkingTopsytwittersocial mediainternetsearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?