Twitter Announces Search Enhancements

In what observers (well, me anyway) are calling a long-overdue move, Twitter has announced ( several enhancements to its search engine. One of them has me a little leery, one of them has me absolutely thrilled, and the other ones I’ll have to try. Here’s a rundown on what’s new.

Search Autocomplete: According to Twitter, autocomplete is supposed to make search suggestions for you as you type. Which sounds great (and I love to get an idea of what people are searching for) except I couldn’t get it to work. I tried two different browsers (Chromium and Firefox) and made sure I was logged in, and nada. Even typing things like Justin got me no auto-complete suggestions. Maybe it’s not available at the moment?

Spelling Corrections: This is the one I’m leery about; Google already “corrects” your spelling even when you’re properly spelling what you want! I did a search on Twitter for appple; Twitter gave me lots of results for apple but also included at least one result for appple; as long as what I actually searched for is still in there I’m fine with it. (Interesting trick: looking at the “Top” results gave me tweets for both appple and apple. Looking at “all” results gave me tweets only for appple. All = Verbatim?)

Results with Real Names and User Names: Here’s the way Twitter describes it: ” When you search for a name like ‘Jeremy Lin,’ you’ll see results mentioning that person’s real name and their Twitter account username.” That’s nice. But I also like that I can do a search for “Museum” and get Museum Twitter results at the top of the search page, something I don’t remember from before. It also worked for the phrase “state library,” which is going to come in handy because of…

Restricting results to people you follow: You can now get results just from people you follow. Which means I can do my searches for things like database and archive and collection and not get a pile of spam. And oh look! This search supports special syntax, so I can search people I follow for filter:links and just see what people I follow are pointing to without the chatter. Aahhhhhh. Now if could only get that sent to me once a day as a list….

Of course, with that in mind I need to find more great folks to follow. Got a suggestion? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

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