The biggest change: You can now limit searches to just tweets from accounts you follow. That’s a HUGE improvement.
While it’s sometimes interesting to see what strangers around the world have to say on a topic in the news, often it’s more relevant to see tweets from the friends and news sources you follow. And the lack of this feature has been a major flaw in Twitter search.
Twitter also now suggests relevant accounts and hashtags as you start to type, which should help users discover the right accounts and keywords to follow for breaking news and live events. Becoming the go-to source for that kind of information is a major priority for Twitter.
Here are other improvements Twitter says it made:
Spelling corrections: If you misspell a term, we’ll automatically show results for your intended query.
Related suggestions: If you search for a topic for which people use multiple terms, we will provide relevant suggestions for terms where the majority of that conversation is happening on Twitter
Results with real names and usernames: When you search for a name like ‘Jeremy Lin,’ you’ll see results mentioning that person’s real name and their Twitter account username.
Results from people you follow: In addition to seeing ‘All’ or ‘Top’ Tweets for your search, you can also now see Tweets about a given topic from only the people you follow when you select the ‘People you follow’ view. Viewing Tweets about a topic from just the people you follow is a great way to find useful information and join the conversation.
So why was Twitter engineer Pankaj Gupta so excited about these changes that he leaked the news in a tweet?
While automatic spelling correction and suggestions are things we take for granted on search engines like Google, it actually takes a lot of engineering on the back end to deliver those features with a snappy level of speed. So we suspect that’s what Gupta was bragging about.