There’s been some commotion from bloggers and Twitter users who noticed this week that retweets had suddenly disappeared from Twitter search results. But Twitter says this isn’t part of a “war” on traditional retweets, and things will soon revert back to normal.
The issue is that retweets weren’t showing up in search results for logged-in users, but they were showing up on searches done at search.twitter.com. Here’s an example from Wednesday afternoon when Andrew Shotland retweeted me.
Andrew’s retweet appeared in search results from search.twitter.com (above), but was nowhere to be found when I searched from my account home page (below).
A Twitter spokesperson tells us this experiment was aimed at removing duplicate content from search results, but it didn’t work.
We’ve been experimenting with ways to identify duplicate content, and recently implemented an approach that identifies retweets as duplicates. This only applied for logged-in searches on www.twitter.com, not to searches on search.twitter.com, search APIs, or the logged-out homepage. However, this change has not had a positive impact on the user experience so we plan to revert it.
Twitter says it will look for “more intelligent” ways to remove explicitly duplicate content from its search results.