Twitter Launches Its Version Of Universal Search Results

Twitter is in the process of rolling out what you could call its version of “universal search results” on The changes bring Twitter’s Web search more in line with the current mobile experience.

Twitter announced the changes this afternoon via tweet:


Let’s take a look at what’s going on here.

What’s New With Twitter Search

There are three primary changes to’s main search results panel:

  • Accounts (or “People” as shown in the screenshot below) are now mixed into the search results.
  • Photos are now showing as search results (also in the screenshot).
  • There’s also a new Photos tab on the left, joining the “Results” and “People” filters.

Here’s a good example of how these changes create a Twitter-fied version of universal search. I searched for “Google Glass.” The new “People” results appear first, followed by three “Top” tweets, and then the new “Photos” results.


Not shown above is that, below the Photos results, Twitter returns to showing more Top tweets.

That’s not the only change to Twitter search today. After clicking on the search box, the dropdown now includes Recent Searches and Saved Searches; the former is new, the latter wasn’t so visible before.

Also added is what Twitter calls “social context” — as you type a search, Twitter is now telling you the relationship (if any) you have with matching accounts. If you’re already following those accounts, Twitter will show that (see screenshot below), and if you’re not — but accounts that you follow are following those accounts — Twitter will display that.


Some users are already seeing these changes, and everyone should see them soon.

If you’re not familiar with the term “universal search,” it’s a Google reference. Way back in 2007, Google announced its “universal search” results, which was the first time that things like photos, videos, news stories, local business listings and more started showing in Google’s search results.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Search


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Stephen Moyers

    It’s really a great that Twitter has launched universal search which would be very much helpful for your social media campaign. It’s good that now photos are showing as search results.



    The older search feature of Twitter though efficient wasn’t that great so this is a really welcome change.

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  • Barry Ricks

    So do you think with the photos popping up in the search now, that twitter will see an even larger influx of pictures being tweeted?

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