Google has unveiled a Twitter timeline search feature designed to search specific phrases included in Twitter updates to see what people were saying about a certain topic at any given time.
The company said that the timeline will initially go back to 11 February this year, but will eventually run as far back as the very first Twitter message on 21 March 2006.
Entering a certain search phrase brings up a timeline chart showing the relative volume of activity on Twitter about that phrase, and displays a series of messages below. Users can then click forward or back on the timeline.
"All of us are just beginning to understand the many ways in which real-time information and short-form web content will be useful in the future, and we think being able to make use of historical information is an important part of that," he said.
"Tweets and other short-form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what's happened and how people have reacted. We want to give you a way to search across this information and make it useful."
The replay feature will be available in English within the next couple days for all Google users.
Google already includes real-time updates from Twitter in its search results, and includes updates from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz.
Twitter announced a new revenue-generating feature yesterday called Promoted Tweets that will let advertisers place tweets at the top of some search results.
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