With chatter dating back to last Friday, the news was made official today — Twitter has acquired Summize, an interactive search tool which piggy backs on the Twitter API launched a couple months ago. For Twitter, this will mean an replacement for its underwhelming search tool, which has started to take shape.
While Twitter makes for a great “what’s happening around you?” tool, Summize has really filled the space of aggregating what’s happening on Twitter as whole and being able to search through real-time conversations. A popular section on their Google-reminiscent logo/box/button homepage has been ‘Trending Topics’, which shows five or six things/products/people being talked about most right now.
For Twitter, which has gone through a rough year, this seems like an act of recovery. And if this is how they keep going, with reducing down times and features that make the product more useful, there might still be some hope. Still, a bunch of top Twitter users have already started to make their way to FriendFeed, which seems like it can only grow. Personally, I don’t think FriendFeed is so much of a competitor than a complementary product, and surely I think their growth is going to be beneficial to both services.
Here’s why. Most users on FriendFeed are still very active Twitter users and their tweets are obviously automatically blasted in their FriendFeeds, and I think this will remain. What will change is the replies and community backchat. Much of this which has previously taken place in Twitter (with the @ command) will instead be on FriendFeed, a much better aggregator of conversations and comments and replies and the like. In other words, I think Twitter be used more for its original purpose, for users to answer what they’re doing and be informed of one and other, while the actual conversations happen on FriendFeed by a growing minority of its users.
As a frantic Twitter user, I hope they keep going in the direction they have.