Tweetmeme, a memetracker that tracks popular retweets on Twitter, just launched a real-time version of its service that displays tweets that are currently in heavy rotation on the popular microblogging service. In order to filter this constant stream of messages, Tweetmeme users can choose to only see messages that have been retweeted at least twice, though the default setting is for five retweets and can go up to twenty.

Seeing every tweet that has only been retweeted twice is not for the feint of heart as the stream scrolls by extremely fast, but once you filter it down to at least five retweets the stream becomes quite manageable. Tweetmeme's Founder, Nick Halstead, tells us that Tweetmeme uses the same polling technology as Friendfeed, and that the company plans to implement these real-time updates on other parts of the site as well.

Channels

In addition to these real-time streams, Tweetmeme is also focusing on providing channels about specific topics including this one for Earth Day, for example. Thanks to this, it might soon be a lot easier to filter out the noise during a big conference, for example, where it is usually impossible to keep distinguishing between high-value tweets and random invitations for lunch.

Sadly, these channels don't yet feature the new live streams, which is really a shame. It would also be great if we could create custom channels based on keyword searches that are then filtered by Tweetmeme, and presented in a real-time stream. We can't imagine, however, that the Tweetmeme team isn't working on something like this already (and maybe even implementing real-time updates in the mobile version as well).

Tweetmeme's backend is sponsored by Sun through the company's Startup Essentials program. The company also has an interesting business model, and it features some interesting leaderboards and stats about every item.

Twitter and Real-Time: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Twitter and  real-time clearly go hand-in-hand. Just in the last few weeks, we saw the launch of two new real-time Twitter search engines, Twazzup (our review) and Tweetmi, and, of course, there is also Monitter, the grandfather of Twitter real-time services. Tweetmeme's new real-time stream looks like a great compliment to those, and from what we've heard, the team still has a lot of great ideas about how to make the service even better.

Thanks to Marjolein Hoekstra (@cleverclogs) for alerting us to this new feature.