This morning, Twitter began rolling out a search service that lets you search for any tweet in its archive.
Outside services have long offered ways of searching old tweets, including tools like Topsy (now owned by Apple) and Tweet Machine, and such services are still the best way to find tweets that have been deleted from Twitter proper. But Twitter’s new search engine fills a conspicuous hole in its own micro-messaging service, and shows how internet search services continue to evolve, providing ever faster access to an ever growing corpus of online information.
Though the new Twitter search engine is limited to rather rudimentary keyword searches today, the company plans to expand into more complex queries in the months and years to come. And the foundational search infrastructure laid down by the company will help drive other Twitter tools as well. “It lets us power a lot more things down the road—not just search,” says Gilad Mishne, the Twitter engineering director who helped oversee the project.