Exploring social search with Twitter Address Bar Search

Please download Firefox 4 to watch the WebM video.

Full-size video (0:52) download: webm (6mb) and ogv (5mb)


As part of the Prospector exploration, Twitter has worked with us to develop a new Firefox add-on, Twitter Address Bar Search, to explore ways to jump straight to the web page that you want. Along the same ideas behind AwesomeBar HD, instead of first doing a general web search, you can now easily focus on finding messages and users on Twitter.

If a billboard for Firefox mentions “@firefox”, I don’t need to bother typing in http://www. Instead, I just type @firefox directly into the address bar and hit enter. And I’m now ready to find out more about Firefox.

The add-on also allows me to instantly check up on what people are talking about for a #hashtag topic like #firefox. Or if I just want to search through Tweets, I can select Twitter for the search box. And if I’ve previously done a search in the Twitter app tab, it lights up to let me know that new Tweets are available.

Searching for a #hashtag from the address bar

You can try out Twitter Address Bar Search on Firefox 4 including Firefox for Android! You don’t even need to restart Firefox to begin playing around. You can also check out the official announcement on The Mozilla Blog.

We have a couple questions for you:

  • Do you think showing @username as a keyword instead of urls will help users find websites?
  • AwesomeBar HD uses category prefixes, e.g., “people:”, to trigger site-specific searches, and here we use “@” and “#”. Do you have suggestions for other ways to detect when not to do a general web search?

Let us know what you think and see what people are already tweeting about #firefoxtwitter. As usual, you can check out the code on GitHub and submit issues or suggestions if you have any!

Ed Lee on behalf of the Prospector team
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