word got out a couple days ago that twitter would be implementing a real-time search feature very soon. the feature will let you type in any word into twitter and whenever someone tweets something with your query words in it, you can choose to be notified via an instant message or a text message to your mobile phone. initially the searches will be limited to all twitter users but in the future you will be able to limit whose twitter history you search based on the people you follow/are following you, geography, time of the tweet, and so on.
i’ve been waiting for this feature for a while now. it makes perfect sense, just like searchable, persistent chat logs on instant messaging clients. every couple of days i find my self wanting to bring up a conversation i had with someone based on the topic (or keywords) we were discussing, and the same applies to tweets from my friends.
that said, there are a couple of concerns. first, and the concern i have right now, is how does my twitter privacy factor into this? will anyone be able to retrieve a tweet from me or can i choose it so that only my friends (not even followers) can search my tweets? second, matt brings up an important point: twitter is not the most consistently reliable service and this update will probably cause further disruptions.