Twitter is working on a new feature that will see the most popular tweets rise to the top of Twitter search results according to Twitter Developer Advocate Taylor Singletary.

Singletary posted the message in a Google Group saying “This is a beta project, but an important first step to surface the most popular tweets for users searching Twitter.”

The message aims to notify Twitter developers of upcoming changes to the search API, but as Mashable points out, it’s likely these changes will appear on too. It would only make sense for them too.

Tweet popularity may sound simple but can become a very frustrating thing to measure. If we assume Twitter is measuring tweet popularity by the number of retweets, that’s good but is also heavily swayed by people with many followers.

The case would remain the same if Tweets were measured simply by the number of clicks. Questions like would people who originally tweeted something be given more importance than the popular account that retweeted that original tweet? Would the domain of the URLs within the tweet play a role in measuring tweet importance? I could go on.

Irrespective, the fact that Twitter are thinking more about search is a wonderful thing. Google have done a solid job and highlighting popular tweets in their real time search results, about time Twitter did the same.