I came across an article on TechCrunch that got me thinking. I have been writing for a while now that the main functionality of Twitter, really is just a product feature that can and is being copied Facebook, Plaxo, Windows Live, and probably everyone else out there.
For Twitter to survive they have to find a way to turn it into a platform. Finding a way to create value-added search is probably their best bet.
After all, what is the number one thing that people share, other than what they are having for breakfast?
Links tweeted by Twitter users are more valuable because they (for the most part) have been added to the search database by people who found their content to have value.
One of the biggest challenges that traditional search engines like Kumo and Google have is that they have to warehouse everything, and most of the Internet is full of garbage that is of no use to people.
For Twitter to maintain any value in search over and above Kumo and Google, they will have to constantly be looking for creative ways to block robots from posting 140chars automatically stuffed with links and keywords.
Without naming names, I have the feeling that one of the people I am following has found a way to automatically post tweets. This means that spammers can and will start attacking Twitter with automated tweets for their viagra and weight loss treatments for all kinds of keywords – reducing the value of Twitter search.
Are Twitter engineers up to the job?