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Twitter Amps Up Search, Leaves Back Door Open To Target Rival Brands' Followers

Twitter yesterday announced that it had improved search results to highlight photos, videos and news shared on Twitter, all "wrapped up in more social context tailored for you." All of that is swell, but as a Business Insider story describes, there's more interesting news, of an ad advantage that Twitter offers over Google. More on that later.

Three new elements Twitter searchers will find:

  • They'll view photos and videos first. A tweeter searching for a person, event or hashtag will see a grid of the most relevant media.
  • They'll see headlines and photos on iPhone and Android. Photos and article summaries automatically show previews to give you a bird’s eye view on what’s happening.
  • They'll see the results in tailored context. Twitter unveiled tailored ranking in search about a year ago, but only now will searchers see context like who favorited or retweeted

Also yesterday, Twitter announced the ability to email tweets directly from within Twitter (see graphic), and to anyone with an email account (whether or not they use Twitter).
As C|Net describes, Twitter improved account management from mobile devices as well, and iOS and Android users can reset their passwords from their respective mobile apps.

Twitter's hardly ripe to overtake Google in search, but, as Velti's Krishna Subramanian told Business Insider today, it's got a keen advantage over Google in mobile advertising: The ability to target users by buying a rival's trademarked brand name. Google’s policy for most markets is that Pepsi can't buy the term "Coke" in AdWords, or even use the word "Coke" in its ads. But, for example, J.C. Penney can target Macy's Twitter followers, as Twitter allows advertisers to promote tweets to specific accounts.

So the back door is open for regargeting away from rival brands, a back door that Google, to its credit, slammed shut.

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