Posted April 16, 2010 4:19 pm by with 6 comments

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It’s no secret that third-party apps and clients are popular for Twitter users. And it looks like they’re in for some major competition from Google. No the search giant isn’t building its own Twitter client—it’s just bringing you all the functionality you’d expect from one.

Last October, Google announced a real-time search deal with Twitter. Or, really, the stuck a few Twitter results into semi-relevant search results. They’ve added a scrolling update display, but research suggests real-time search isn’t useful to searchers. Just two days ago, Google announced Twitter replay to take a historical view of tweets. And within hours of that announcement, they added a Follow Finder to . . . well, help you find people to follow.

Google Follow Finder looks at the people you’re following and uses public social graph information to find other users who follow those same accounts, then recommend other people those users are following. They also find people with similar follower lists.

Google built Follow Finder on Twitter’s @anywhere framework, announced last month.

All right, we can all admit Google’s probably not going to be challenging any third party apps for daily usability any time soon. Their offerings remain an auxiliary anomaly. The replay feature aligns well with their search mission, but the Follow Finder is another foray deeper into social media, which could indicate that their focus on Twitter may be more than just employees’ 20% time.

What do you think? What will Google’s next Twitter feature be? Will they ever have enough features to compete with full-fledged third-party apps, or will their offerings always bee use-specific?

  • I just checked out the Follow Finder and have to say that I have seen 3rd party apps that are twice as good as this. I don’t like the fact that you have click on the person to see their profile but you can’t really tell if you want to follow them or not simply from their last tweet.

    I think that Google needs to get a little more creative if they really want people to use their Twitter apps. Will be interesting to see what they do next.
    .-= Tiffany ´s last blog ..My Online Passive Income Earnings Report for March =-.

    • Seems like google is accepting that automation is a real part of the internet. Ironic since they kind of label such automators as spammers. However, I like the idea of being able to search for similar demographic followers as the ones that you are already following. But you are right – they need to improve the functionality before it becomes useful.
      .-= Wynne´s last blog ..Here Some Web Designs That I Really Like, and Why =-.

  • Google was trying to buying Twitter before… after he failed now he want his position in Twitter App.. Not bad.. Google is smart for sure 🙂

    USA President Barack Obama Paid Tax Returns to his $5.5 Million income in 2009
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  • Google needs to go long if he want to be compared with the twitter for social media followers and trust.As for third party applications, it shows googles deep interest in twitter as we can see some cool applications for twitter lovers in near future…however i have checked follow finder and do not see much when i searched one user name of twitter

  • Gwibber will be my Twitter app for the foreseeable future, and if Google wants to be active as a Twitter developer, they need to put a little more heart into it.

    I have to say, though, that the playback feature is a pretty awesome idea.


    Google’s stategy seems to be to identify and get involved in successful social networking models, probably so they will have the recognition and corporate experience to compete with or acquire pieces of the social networking driven market. It is probably true that the social networking model is the evolutionary threat to the open search engine model. Google’s success in insinuating itself into social networking may explain in part why the large advertisers are returning.