Twitter is in the process of rolling out what you could call its version of “universal search results” on Twitter.com. The changes bring Twitter’s Web search more in line with the current mobile experience.
Twitter announced the changes this afternoon via tweet:
Search update on http://t.co/eNvqKTup1d: See photos & accounts in results + recent searches & social context as you type your query.
— Twitter (@twitter) August 1, 2013
Let’s take a look at what’s going on here.
What’s New With Twitter Search
There are three primary changes to Twitter.com’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.