AdAge has the scoop on Twitter's plans for search. Could this possibly be a real challenge to Google?
Last year, Twitter acquired Summize, which was a Twitter search developed on the API. Twitter search is increasingly popular, especially for finding real-time chatter on a given topic. Recently, a Greasemonkey script was created to incorporate Twitter search into Google results (for those who install the add-on in Firefox).
But Twitter has bigger plans. They want to add a Q&A feature that harnesses the collective - and immediate - knowledge of the Twitterverse. Think Yahoo! Answers meets Twitter Search. Answers sites have been growing in popularity at a rapid pace. This could be a very smart move for Twitter.
Anecdotally, I've been seeing people using Twitter before checking with Google. It makes sense. Ask people from your trusted network instead of searching through tens or hundreds of results on your own - and then deciphering how trustworthy the information is.
If Twitter focuses on search, it's easy to see how they could then monetize their network (finally): search ads.
It's no wonder that Google has its eye on Twitter. From the CEO calling it a "poor man's email" (postering??) to rumors that it may seek to acquire Twitter, this is an exciting space to watch.
Oh, and Twitter passes my branding test. Twitter is definitely being used as a verb!