The Paris-based Twitter search engine and meme tracker Twitscoop rolled out a live tag cloud for Twitter today. While a tag cloud was always a major part of Twitscoop’s design, having it update in real-time makes it a lot more interesting to follow. Twitscoop is also a very capable Twitter search engine that can hold its own against Summize.

Tag Cloud

The idea of using a tag cloud to track memes on Twitter is obviously not new, but having the tag cloud update dynamically makes for a whole new experience. While testing Twitscoop this morning, for example, the news about Carl Icahn’s newest letter to Yahoo’s shareholders was breaking on Twitter and made it onto Twitscoop’s tag cloud within less than a minute.

Sometimes, the items on the tag cloud seem to appear more because of serendipity than because they are real memes. If five people write the ‘dumb’ or ‘w00t’ within 10 minutes of each other, for example, it will show up in the cloud, even though the tweets are not related at all.

If a tag cloud seems especially noteworthy, you can easily send a tweet with a permalink to the cloud. While this might only be useful in a very limited number of occasions, it is a nice feature to have nevertheless.

As of now, Twitscoop does not feature an API, nor does it have a widget for its live tag cloud that you could put on your blog or your desktop.

Search

Twitscoop is also a very capable Twitter search engine. While it is pretty basic, in that it doesn’t feature live updates like Summize, or organize conversations like Quotably, it does show a nice graph of how often a search term has been used on Twitter in the last 6 to 72 hours (see screenshot). Just like on Summize, you can reply to a tweet from the search page and there is a link to the original tweet as well.

Twitscoop picks up new tweets very fast – most appear in under one minute.

Verdict

The ideal Twitter search engine would combine the live updates and API from Summize, the live tag cloud from Twitscoop, and the conversation tracking from Quotably. As of now, we still have to wait for this, but Twitscoop’s live updates are definitely worth taking a closer look at and its search engine is a good alternative to Summize.

frederic lardinois