Google Search has got better and better with some nice algorithm tweaks. But when it comes to real-time search, Google still lags behind in the field where Twitter is the uncrowned king. Google did have a spell with it, but by July 2011 it lapsed as a deal with Twitter fell through.
Bing has taken a lead there with its social search, and with the addition of Quora, I think it has managed to add another star to it.
With the absence of Twitter, you are left to either a browser extension to create a Twitter interface, open another tab with Twitter, or some tool like CloudMagic. Just as effective? Yes. But a productivity speed bump, because you have to again search for the information you want. What we are looking for is a seamless way for Twitter results to be displayed alongside Google Search results, so that I can take them all in with a glance.
Google might have failed, but a Google Chrome extension has come in to fill one side of the page. If you are looking for real-time search using Twitter with your Google search, Hashplug could be the answer. You won’t see any icon for it after you install the extension from the Google Web Store. But type in a search query and you will immediately see a stream of Twitter updates flowing on the right side of the search results page.
As you can see from the above screenshot, the profile photo, handle and name of the Twitter account is displayed. By default three Twitter results are displayed, but you can scroll down to view the constantly flowing stream of updates. These are the latest ones as you can observe from the timestamp.
Hashplug also gives you the option to Favorite, Retweet, or Reply to the tweet right from there. These basically are a shortcut to your Twitter profile. Click on any, and your Twitter page opens up in a separate tab.
A Very Simple Extension, but Two Things of Note
You will notice that Hashplug does not allow you to filter your tweets by language, so you get quite a few global tongues. Sometimes this can be frustrating as according to the time zone, a particular language seems to have a greater presence, forcing you to either wait or seek another search route. I wish the developer would include a localization filter if it were possible.
The second trade-off you might have to make is that Hashplug pushes the Knowledge Graph down the page.
If you are a movie aficionado like me, and like to browse through People also search for, it could be a slight bother (but not very much).
Hashplug is simple and unobtrusive. It does one thing, and it does it well. Check out the video, if you are more of a visual guy and want to see what the Chrome extension does…
Like Hashplug so far? Will you be paying a visit to the Google Web Store?