Tracking Twitter

One of the driving philosophies behind Twitter has always been to get away from the computer, get out there and do something, and tell your friends about it in real-time. That’s why Twitter works over IM and text messaging—you can bring your phone almost anywhere to interact and share.

You can follow friends on your phone through Twitter, but what about concepts? What if you wanted an update anytime anyone mentioned your name, your favorite band, “NYC,” “earthquake,” or “Steve Jobs?” In real-time? What if you were attending an event and wanted to know who else was there?

Today we’re releasing a tiny feature to do just that, and we’re calling it “Track.” If you’ve set up your phone or IM on Twitter, you can send a command like:

track NYC

When someone (anyone who updates in public) mentions “NYC,” you’ll get it on your device in real-time. From there you can send “whois username” to find out more about that person, or “follow username” to follow his or her updates. Don’t want to receive anymore about NYC? Toggle it off with:

untrack NYC

You can create as many of these as you want, so send “track drinking tea”, “track iphone”, “track walking san francisco” and you’ll receive matches for all. Want to get a list of what you’re currently tracking? Send “track” alone (or “stats”). Turn them all off by sending “track off”.

We love this technology, and hope you do too. We’re continuing to refine and play with it, so please send your feedback!

What will you track?