Should Twitter Add Authority-based Search?

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Loic Le Meur is asking Twitter to add an authority filter to their search (he also goes on a rant about Sprint, but ignore that). He wants to sort through Twitter messages based on how many followers the person writing has, so he’ll know the relative importance of what’s being said.

The way he argues isn’t pretty (“We’re not equal on Twitter, as we’re not equal on blogs and on the web”) but what he says has merit. The number of followers a Twitter user has is effectively a volume button – the more followers, the higher the volume of what’s being said. This is exactly what Technorati does with blog search (and where I grabbed the green bit in the image to show what it might look like).

He uses the Le Web conference as an example. 7,000 or so tweets were written that mentioned the event, and he doesn’t want to sort through all of them. Give him a filter to look at just the ones by users with at least 1,000 followers, he says, and he’ll be happy.

I’m with him on this. Most of the time I just want to read everything people are writing about a topic to more or less take the temperature of the masses on whatever I’m researching. But sometimes it would be nice to hear what just the top users are saying on a particular topic, too, since so many more people hear their message.

Given that Twitter, God love em, are more focused on stability these days than new feature releases, I wouldn’t expect this any time soon. But perhaps an industrious third party can take a crack at it. Don’t forget that Twitter search is actually a product created by a startup called Summize. Twitter bought them in July.

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