July 8, 2012
Twitter News – Search Enhancements Will Make Life Simpler
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Officials from the popular microblogging website Twitter have announced several upgrades, including an autocomplete function and a spelling correction feature, to the social network's search functions.
According to Josh Constine of TechCrunch, other improvements rolled out on Friday include the ability to search only the tweets of people that you follow, related results that include similar usernames or hashtags, and results that include both real names and usernames.
"Thanks to the addition of search autocomplete, you'll see the most common terms for your query as you enter it, just like when you search on Google. Also, if you misspell a word, Twitter will automatically show results for what you likely meant to type," Angela Moscaritolo of PCMag explained in a Friday article.
"The new related suggestions feature, meanwhile, will prove helpful when you search for a topic that people refer to using multiple terms. In this case, Twitter will provide relevant suggestions for terms that are most popular on Twitter at the moment," she added. "In addition to being able to see all or top tweets for a given search, you can now narrow the results so that you only see tweets from people you follow."
Constine wrote that he was "most excited" about the ability to search specifically through only posts from the people you follow, noting that it would make it easier for people to re-visit older content without needing to manually scan through several pages worth of posts, or viewing countless extraneous messages from strangers.
However, he said, "While the improvements sound great, they still need some refining“¦ the ambition of the changes should be commended“¦ Twitter search has long lagged behind other internal search engines that have featured autocomplete and suggestions for years. With time and data monitoring, Twitter is sure to improve the features, and unlock the potential of exploring the world´s real-time consciousness."
"The new interface features and the better display of results is quite nice, but Twitter's still fairly weak when it comes to searching its own archive. Search results are still not returned from deep in the archives, even when Twitter has tweets in there," added CNET's Rafe Needleman. "Results are still strictly time-ordered, which can make it difficult to use for many queries. The improved filtering options do make search much better, but looking closely at Twitter search only reminds us that Twitter serves us well as the Web's short-term memory."
Needleman reported that the search enhancements are currently available on the Twitter Android and iPhone apps, but as of Friday afternoon, they had not yet been added to the iPad app.
The changes had been teased prior to their release by Pankaj Gupta, Twitter's engineering manager in charge of the recommendation and personalization systems. According to Telegraph reports, Gupta sent out a tweet suggesting that the social network's "search & discovery" were about to "change forever."