Is Twitter the Google-Killer we’ve been looking for?
There are literally hundreds of thousands of articles on, about, or around Twitter. Most of them have to do with the communication side of things.
It is a change-agent to the way we communicate and consume information from person-to-person.
However, what most people don’t realize is Twitter’s real future, may lie in search… in one form or another. More info after the jump.
We’ve Been looking in the Wrong Place
For years now, people have been speculating, even scheming to find the search application that will replace Google… the so called “Google-Killer” search.
There have been many people who have attempted this feat, but to no luck… Powerset… Cuil… and a multitude of other search engines touting the latest and greatest “semantic” or “real-time” search engines.
We know that technology is no-where near the point of replacing human beings in logic and translation of data.
So, why fight it? Why not use Humans to solve this problem.
Simplicity Is Key
The main challenge to truly human driven search results has been adoption. There are services out there that provide user driven content like Digg, Mahalo, and others… but, they’ve never been able to grab enough market share to really become effective in a general search setting.
There are several reasons for this, but one of the key reasons is all these applications carry a learning curve to use properly. Not something that the average person are willing to take the time to learn and use.
This is why Twitter has been so popular… it’s so simple, anyone can use it. 140 characters to describe what you’re doing, reading, or thoughts and hit submit. Hell, I challenge you to find anyone who can’t understand those instructions.
What you now have is a service that has been adopted by millions of people, simultaneously searching the web for the best web sites for shoe shopping, the latest review of their local restaurant while they’re eating, describing the weather as they step out the door. I challenge Google to manage that feat with a computer.
The Organic, Semantic, Real-Time Search Engine Named: _______
So, twitter now has the distribution to be relevant, the data to work with, and the momentum to take it to the next step. The question will be, how will they handle it?
I have my doubts the approach will be to integrate it into their existing application. Sure, they have a search engine, but it’s not readily available to the public… well, it is, but it doesn’t have the top of mind awareness or the interface to take on Google. People still and probably will always
What I envision is one of two things:
1. Twitter will partner / be acquired by an established search engine to integrate with their results. The most logical choice is Google, but I’d be interested to see Apple take this on.
2. Twitter will launch a new, separately branded search engine using Twitter as it’s data source.
The first option is obviously the quickest way to the top, but also risks loosing it’s soul to some corporate influence and bureaucracy. However, the second option also risks being lost in obscurity among the thousands of other search engines all claiming to be different.
Final Word: 140 Characters or less.
It’s an interesting time… it may be the birth of something new. Something Wonderful. But, only time will tell.
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