Twitter is testing a new search feature within the Twitter.com home page - a special tab in the sidebar that displays Twitter search results in the main Tweet window. For anyone digging deeper into the conversations or topics being discussed on Twitter, this makes for a great way to track them. (Techmeme)
Even better, there's also plans for a "save" feature within the search, allowing users to permanently track particular topics. Finally, Twitter is also working on a Trends tab, allowing users to track the hottest topics of the moment - whether it's a news event or an American Idol upset. The company said in a blog post that the tool "has potential."
Those are nice features and I already see them becoming valuable tools - if they actually lure users back to the Twitter.com home page. With an open API, there is no shortage of Twitter applications being developed, allowing users to doing all of their Tweeting from apps, instead of their home page.
For example, I use Twitterific for the Mac - it pops up every 10 minutes or so along the right side of my screen, stays there for about 10 seconds and then disappears - unless I click on the window. From Twitterific, I can do pretty much everything (though I haven't found a way to follow new people through it.) Otherwise, I can all go all day without ever visiting Twitter.com.
There's valuable data buried deep within Twitter. And I'm glad to see the company is looking for ways to tap into it. Once they pull the trigger on these new features, we'll see if it's enough to change Tweeting habits.