Ever wished you could just leaf through Twitter profiles like you were looking through a phone book?
[More from Mashable: 6 Ways to Add Twitter to Your WordPress Site]
Probably not. But if there is a situation where that could conceivably be useful, you're in luck. Twitter quietly launched an online profile directory this week, with profiles neatly arranged at roughly 100 to a page.
The profiles are listed by first name, rather than Twitter handle, which is odd enough. But to find them you'll have to burrow down through encyclopedia-like category pages -- which for popular or common names is worse than useless.
[More from Mashable: Welcome to Twitter, David Cameron]
For instance, Justin Bieber's profile is under "JustBooks.in — jzzzzzzzzz." But to find the actual singer, you'd have to wade through pages of "Justin Bieber-Justin Bieber." Turns out it's quite a popular name to claim to have on Twitter. (The company doesn't require you to enter your real name on a profile.)
So why would Twitter publish this? One word: Google.
The two companies fell out over search results in January; the search giant announced plans to push Google+ results, which Twitter decried as "bad for people."
Google fired back that Twitter had ended a real-time search agreement and taken itself out of search results with a piece of code that instructed its search bots not to follow tweets.
Now it seems Twitter is much more keen to be indexed on the world's largest search engine. As Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan points out, a search for the Twitter directory on Google already yields about 700,000 results.
That, along with a number of other under-the-hood tweaks Twitter has made in recent months, should make your tweets a lot more searchable. The user directory, therefore, is effectively little more than an SEO anchor.
Do you want your tweets and your profile to be more searchable? Did you try finding yourself in the directory? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.