In the past Twitter search was very slow. Those of us who have been using it since the beginning dealt with this struggle, among others, while the startup worked out the bugs. But good news all you social media marketing people, Twitter search is now 3 times faster. First, we’ll talk a little about how they did this and then we can consider what this means for news hungry tweeters around the world.
On the Twitter Engineering Blog Twitter covers this topic in depth. Twitter is calling this ability to search with increase speed “Blender.” Probably because blenders spin really fast and the search feature is really fast. Let’s not spend a lot of time on the name though, you can think about that on your own later if you like. Let’s just hear what they have to say on the subject.
“Twitter search is one of the most heavily-trafficked search engines in the world, serving over one billion queries per day. The week before we deployed Blender, the #tsunami in Japan contributed to a significant increase in query load and a related spike in search latencies. Following the launch of Blender, our 95th percentile latencies were reduced by 3x from 800ms to 250ms and CPU load on our front-end servers was cut in half.”
So Twitter now has the capacity to serve 10x the number of request per machine. This means that they can support the same number of request with far less servers. All of this is very exciting, but why would a search engine optimization company or social media marketer care?Twitter is infamous for their downtime. I remember last year the site would be down about 25% of the time I visited it. With this investment in infrastructure we hope the system will experience less of these downtime hiccups.
While less downtime would be great, the real benefit comes to the news hungry social media enthusiast out there, and those who use Twitter as a real time communication system. If Twitter search is 3x faster, people can get information from across the world 3x faster. This means we can alert people quicker of potential danger, help someone in need and get news out to the masses with greater speed. If you are a social media marketer, you can respond to customer complaints, respond to leads and follow people Tweeting about your industry in less time.
Overall, faster is better. Google did it with Caffeine and is now asking the entire web to focus on page speed. This is a little bit different with Twitter search, but the same principal applies. People don’t want to waste time and they want everything now. And with this Blender update good old Twitter real time search engine is giving it to them, 3 times faster. Between this and the possibility for Twitter Branded Pages, the social media site is really taking things up a notch. Watch out for Twitter in 2011 folks, they are doing good things.
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