Google, Twitter and the Real-Time Web

I’m still a little mystified by the appeal of Twitter to the individual user, but I definitely see the argument that – taken in aggregate – the service offers a useful window into what a (rarefied) slice of the global population is thinking about right now. But when I read pieces like this one by Eric Schonfeld at TechCrunch, I can’t help wondering why Google doesn’t just turn on a more timely version of its Google Insights for Search service to steal a little of Twitter’s thunder.

If the random musings of Twitter’s 6-million odd users are interesting, then the most recent search queries posed by Google’s order of magnitude larger user base should be, um, orders of magnitude more representative. Think of this as the first derivative of Google: a Google search engine that returns a normalized set of terms recently entered into the Google search box.

Am I nuts? Does this exist already?