Google’s adding an intriguing new feature to its Twitter search options –- the ability to “replay” a moment in time to see what people were tweeting about a given topic at any point between the present and the advent of the microblogging tool.
In a blog post, Google explains that this could be used to “explore any topic that people have discussed on Twitter. Want to know how the news broke about health care legislation in Congress, what people were saying about Justice Paul Stevens’ retirement or what people were tweeting during your own marathon run?”
The feature will be accessible from Google’s advanced search options under “Updates,” where users can then zoom in on a specific date or date range on a timeline to pull up tweets about their query. Initially, tweets will go back only to this February. However, Google plans to offer up tweets going all the way back to the very first one, which took place on March 21, 2006.
This feature marks a big addition to Google’s existing real-time search features, which pull in tweets (and Facebook and MySpace updates) for queries breaking news topics. It’s also exactly what’s made possible through the data partnerships that Twitter has formed with Google, Microsoft and, more recently, a number of startups. It’ll go live for English users within the next few days, but you can already test it here.