For the past two years we've been keeping an eye on real-time search engine Collecta, watching as it's inked some big deals, widgetized its real-time feeds and raised some funding. Today, however, it looks like the company has decided to change directions. Collecta announced to developers today that "Collecta is changing over the coming months" and that the API will be unavailable as of February 11.

The home page, once the home of a series of trending topics, now features a real-time feed of images from the likes of Flickr and TwitPic, in an overt hint at the company's likely next move.

When Collecta raised $4.7 million last June, Collecta CEO Gerry Campbell told us in a phone conversation that "Collecta is more than a great idea. We understand the business behavior of our users and we'll be building out a full-fledged business."

At the time of that article's writing, we also noted that 60% of Collecta's queries came in via its partner API - the one it's now shutting down. So where is Collecta headed next?

We spoke with one Collecta employee recently and they told us that the next move was to focus on specific feeds that the company could monetize on. By the looks of today's redesigned homepage, we're figuring that one of those feeds is real-time images.

"Collecta is changing," the company announced on Facebook today. "While we work on what's next, take a minute and enjoy a view of what's happening right now." (emphasis added)

They also told us that the company would be focusing on mobile apps in this effort, but wouldn't offer details beyond that. 

Campbell's conversation today with Mashable's Jolie O'Dell confirms this direction, as Campbell noted that "a destination site is not the correct vehicle for reaching people" and that "new behaviors, specifically with Facebook and mobile, are growing."

What the final product will look like, we're still unsure of, but after a couple years of being in the real-time space, we're hoping Collecta has figured out what works and comes out with something to knock our socks off.