The biggest problem with researching real-time content was that, well, it happens in real-time. In some cases, you may be researching an issue some time after the online discussion of it has passed. Until recently, the availability of some of the most common – and most ephemeral – real-time content from Twitter might disappear within a week of being sent. As has become nearly routine, Google has changed that.
Google is indexing tweets, Twitter’s micro messages, going back to March 2006, when the company started. It is currently available back to February 11, 2010. Even better, they are providing added value with a Replay feature. Once you have identified the time frame in which the discussion occurred, you can have Google replay the discussion as if you were watching it in real-time.
There have been workarounds to finding historic tweets, like using Bit.ly or LinkedIn or some other social media tool that harvested and archived them. But that relied on the fact that the person had tweeted about a particular resource or into a particular online profile. The Google search and Replay will enhance that.
You can access the Replay function by running a search on Google, selecting Show Options, right above your search results, and selecting Update from the menu that appears on the left.