The real time search engine market has been firing-up and there are many services trying to gain some market share in this area. We followed a simple criteria to pick services and build our list: The service must be (1) Real-time and (2) NOT limited to Twitter search results. Here we go:
1. Twingly’s Microblog Search: It covers Twitter, Identica, Bleeper, and a few other services. It’s dedicated to microblogging and offers a RSS subscription option for your searches. While being dominated by Twitter results, it gives you the option of filtering it out by un-checking a box on the side of the page. This makes Twingly one of the most customizable real-time search services covered in this article.
2. Social Mention: Social Mention covers 80+ social media services including all of the major players (Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google, etc). While it has one of the neatest and most clean interfaces among the services we covered, it seems to be the slowest one – showing a list of flashing stars for up to 1 minutes sometimes! We like the various options it provides: the tab options, alerts, RSS subscriptions, the ranking/trending system, and the option of exporting your search results into CSV/Excel file, but slow speed is a deal-breaker! On the other hand, for social alerts and comprehensiveness, it’s one of the best.
3. FriendFeed Search: It shows results from Twitter, StumbleUpon, Delicious and tens of other social media services. It allows a user to connect and collect all his social Web activities into one place. If you are looking for your friends’ opinions regarding a certain topic, FF is great, if you want to perform a comprehensive search, most probably FF won’t cut it as it only indexes the users registered with their service.
4. LifeStream.fm Search: It’s a similar service to FriendFeed and supports 40+ services including the major social media websites (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Stumble upon, Pownce, and Digg). Unfortunately it only searches events of the users subscribed to their services. This puts it at the same disadvantage as FriendFeed.
While there are a lot of similarities in the services provided by the above real-time search engines, there are also some unique differences that make each one of them unique in a way or another.
Which one is your favorite? Do you think real-time search is valuable or maybe over-rated? Please use the comments section below to let us know your thoughts.