Maybe one of the reasons Twitter has been so unreliable lately is that their servers are getting hammered with search requests. This seems to be a valid conclusion based on the news that Twitter's volume of search queries has ballooned 33% in the last few months to
about 800 million per day
. That works out to 24 million searches per month.
It's hard to gage this number in comparison to traditional search engines, as we don't have any recent numbers. But Bing was only seeing 4.1 billion requests per month in December 2009. One way or the other, Twitter is becoming a huge force in real time search. The issue of real time search has stymied the likes of Google and Bing. It's difficult to find up to the minute information on a search engine, so users are turning more and more to Twitter.
Twitter can expect this number to continue growing, and as such, boost their revenues thanks to sponsored tweets in search results. Now they just need to get the hardware to keep the site running, and they'll be in business. Have you used Twitter to search for something? If so, what for?