Twitter Makes Search Results More Visual With Top Photos, Videos & Instant Previews

Twitter is rolling out an update to its search results that will put a new “Top Photos” section above matching tweets. “Top Videos” may also appear. Twitter will also begin automatically showing tweeted pictures for those searching on the iPhone or with Android devices.

Top Photos & Videos

Twitter already shows top photos and images for a search, but these have been placed off to the side of the main search results, like this:

With the change, top pictures and videos will come above the matching tweets:

The change above will happen for both desktop and mobile searchers, Twitter says.

Instant Photo Previews

Mobile searchers using iPhones or Android phones have something unique that will happen within the matching tweets themselves. Some tweets with pictures will have those pictures automatically shown.

Currently, viewing a photo associated with a tweet requires a two-step process, where you select a tweet to have it open up a new screen showing the tweet with the picture:

With today’s change, tweets with pictures will show a picture preview automatically, with the tweet text itself being used as a caption:

It seems like a clever change to make. By using the tweets as captions, the focus remains on what people were primarily sharing — a picture — but the tweet itself can also be viewed at the same time.

The iPhone and Android are also gaining a new “Discover” feature similar to Twitter on the desktop.

Explaining Personalization

A third change is that when viewing matching tweets, Twitter is now going to better explain how it personalizes the results for an individual.

Many people may not realize the default “Top Tweets” shown in response to a Twitter search are personalized for them, something Twitter began doing last year (see Move Over Time Sorting: Twitter Gets “Top Tweets” Search Results).

Now Twitter will be explaining why it shows someone a particular tweet, such as if it was favorited by someone they know or if it was tweeted or retweeted by someone they follow.

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


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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