PostPost, a powerful, noise-reducing search tool for Twitter, has pushed out some updates that make it even more useful. When we first covered PostPost in April, we were struck by how easy it made sifting through one's Twitter timeline. To do that, it indexes your last 3,200 tweets and then narrows your stream down to the most important 200 users and indexes the last 800 tweets posted by each of them.
Since then, PostPost has been updated to handle searches far more effectively. First, it switched its default search operator from OR to AND, which improves the results for queries containing multiple words. It also now uses a link: operator to let you search for links to specific sites or pages. Searches for multimedia content now return more specific results as well. Instead of searching broadly for videos or photos, you can drill down to just YouTube or just Instagram.
PostPost not only indexes the content of tweets, but also digs into the content on the target pages as well. That way, if you search for "Occupy Wallstreet", tweets that may not include those exact words will still show up, so long as the link points to a page that does contain the phrase.
The value of a tool like this cannot be overstated. NPR social media guru Andy Carvin, speaking at ReadWriteWeb's 2Way Summit this summer, bemoaned the difficulty of searching and resurfacing old tweets. Carvin is not alone. Trying to find a tweet from even a few days ago can be a challenging ordeal using Twitter's native search tool or bigger search engines like Google and Bing.
PostPost attempts to alleviate this problem by not only indexing tweets from the last several weeks, but by limiting your stream to only the most important users. In our initial tests, it seems to have done a pretty good job of doing so. We were delighted to see relevant tweets from early October, something that typically would be very difficult using Twitter's own search.