Collecta is now completely gone, restructuring in a new direction. It was my favorite of the realtime search engines, pulling back Twitter messages and a variety of other social media resources. By all accounts, there are high expectations for what their return will bring, based on the success of the original.
Google has renamed its Twitter-oriented search from Updates to Realtime, which makes sense. When you search Google, you can select Realtime from the left hand menu (sometimes it is hidden even when there are matches) and it will display matching Twitter messages (tweets). The results have been reformatted, so now you have the timeline broken out to the right with the search results running down the middle of the page.
Topsy is a nice alternative to Google, enabling you to display bunches of results based on time – past day, 10 days, month, year, etc. – and search results represent more than just the text of the tweets. If a message linked to another page, you get that link, not the shortened link, to follow.
It looks like realtime search, such as it is, remains primarily an alternative way to search Twitter. Here’s hoping that whatever Collecta comes up wiith, it focuses on realtime!