Twitter announced this week a new home page for its service. If you’re already a member you might have to log out to see the new version, which is what I did. I have a screen shot below.
The biggest thing about this new homepage is that it’s obvious that you don’t have to be a member to search Twitter, and you don’t have to be a member to track the trends that are on the front page. (The trends are in three rows and show the most popular tweet keywords of the moment, the day, and the week. Unfortunately the time indicating icons are VERY TEENY.) Click on a keyword and you’ll get a Twitter search result featuring those keywords. When I tried it I got a several second delay, which I as a Twitter user am used to. However I wonder what new users will think of that (or if they’ll wonder if they’ve done something wrong.)
This is a good start to getting people involved in Twitter. But Twitter has not addressed something that’s been bugging me for a while, now, and that’s its search. Twitter search is extensive, but so much is missing! So since everybody’s talking about the new Twitter page, I thought it might be a good time to come out with my Twitter Search Wish List:
1) Field-Specific Search — You can do general searches of Twitter but you can’t do field-specific searching like searching inside bios or a profile’s link. This can be partially faked thanks to Google and flexible full-word wildcards, but it’s not exact.
2) Search for verified account holders — This isn’t a big deal now, but if Twitter expands its verified account holders program, it would be useful to restrict searches to just those people.
3) Search by follows/follower ratio — Sometimes I run Twitter searches that generate huge amounts of spam. It would be nice to be able to limit my search results those Twitterers who have a follow ratio that doesn’t look spammish. For example, if follow 200 Tweeters and have 100 followers, that’s okay. If you follow 10,000 Tweeters and have, say, 5 followers, maybe I don’t want you in my search results. I know that this would be controversial because it would be hard to eliminate the spam accounts while keeping the legit folks. Maybe a search filter that eliminates Tweeters who have been flagged as spammers more than x times?
4) Search by number of followers — I’d like the ability to get a sense of what’s been said about a topic via different levels of Tweeters. What’s the buzz about a keyword from people who have 1-100 followers? How about 1000-5000? How about over 100,000? How about over a million?
Twitter already does offer a number of options on its advanced search page. It’s just that the more I use it, the more things I can think of to use it for…