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Twitter Search, Now Predictive

10th July 2012 by Jennie Stamp | News & Events

Last Friday, Twitter announced some changes to their search function: ‘We’re constantly working to make Twitter search the simplest way to discover what’s happening in real time. To that end, today we’re introducing search autocomplete and ‘People you follow’ search results to twitter.com. In addition to recent improvements like related query suggestions, spelling corrections and more relevant search results, these updates make it even easier to immediately get closer to the things you care about.’

As technology advances, we expect the immediacy of what we want to do online to be exactly that; immediate. People want to hear the latest news as and when it happens, we are used to sharing our thoughts and pictures the instance we think them or see them.


Twitter’s latest update is about improving the real-time nature of the platform:

Search autocomplete

This seems like a fairly obvious feature that you might expect Twitter to already have had. The intuitive nature assists in a better user experience on the platform, guessing what you want to search for, therefore saving you time.

‘People you follow’ results

Search results incorporating those you follow. Much like friends on Facebook, sometimes you only want to see the people you trust/follow and their opinions. Especially as user numbers increase, the more that results can be tailored and refined, the greater chance we have of being exposed to the relevant information to us.

Spelling corrections

Although automatic spelling corrections are very useful, it can make us lazy so we don’t bother trying to remember how to spell anymore, we just rely on technology correcting it for us. As we creep into the future, grammar has already taken a hard enough hit, but the whole ‘were/where/wear’ debate is a whole other blog post. This feature might help spelling on Twitter, but will we learn from it?

Results showing real names AND usernames

This feature has been much needed and will dramatically help searching on Twitter. As the platforms user numbers increase, the available usernames decrease. Gone are the days of obtaining your actual name as your Twitter handle. This is why the ability to easily find someone using their actual or username will improve the service.


In additional news, new updates for the official Twitter iPhone app have also been leaked. New features include:

  • More interactive Tweet view experience
  • Tweets about selected events will be highlighted
  • Enhancement of push notifications
  • Personalised trends
  • Access user profiles by clicking their avatar
  • General improved performance
  • New Twitter logo to be displayed

More about these new features can be read here.

The question is, do Twitter do enough to update their platform? Or is it the sort of simplistic social network that embraces the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t try and fix it’ attitude? These latest updates show they are trying, but they are still very minor changes. Maybe Facebook should take a leaf out of their book in order to minimise user upset?


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