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Twitter Reactivates Their Pointless People Search

Posted on 12.28.2008

Much buzz has been circulating over Twitter's re-release of people search, which was deactivated for some time. You can access it through your home page, under the "Find People" tab. Enter a company or individual's name, and you should see results. But there's a problem. It doesn't always work.

I have tried entering several names of people I know who are active on Twitter, with negative results. It's supposed to be a more intuitive search function than before, allowing for some wiggle room. But there's none. What I have found is that, in the majority of cases, you still need their Twitter ID, or some piece of it. And that's troublesome. Many people use aliases on Twitter. If you don't know it, you won't find them.

It's even worse news for businesses. For example, enter "Website Magazine" in the Find People section and you get nothing. Enter "WebsiteMagazine" (no space) and you get our Twitter profile. To me, that's not search. That's looking for something you already know.

It's very frustrating that Twitter has yet to find a real solution to searching for people. There are many ways to find who you want, but they are all fairly labor-intensive. For a service that is exploding on the scene (CNN featured Twitter as their top tech trend of 2008), it's an inexcusable oversight. With that in mind, if you plan on launching a Twitter profile for your business, don't get creative with your profile name. Make it as easy to find as possible.

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