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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetGoogletwittersearch enginessocial networkingInternet-based applications and servicesTopsy

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

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?