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Twitter bolsters search returns

Twitter is rolling out improvements to its search functionality letting users discover historical posts on the network following an overhaul of its mobile properties.


The updates will mean Twitter’s search returns will soon contain posts dating back longer than a week whereas previously Twitter’s returns only displayed tweets posted within the last seven days.

The update will be rolled out over the coming days with Twitter using various methods of prioritising search returns, according to Paul Burstein, search infrastructure engineer at Twitter.

“We look at a variety of types of engagement, like favourites, retweets and clicks, to determine which tweets to show. We’ll be steadily increasing this percentage over time and ultimately, aim to surface the best content for your query,” he says.

This week’s update follows an earlier announcement where the network revealed it was introducing “human evaluation” to aid “real-time search.” A team of employees will moderate what search terms are proving popular during peak periods, such as an US presidential debate, to better contextualise its returns.

Earlier this week, Twitter also introduced an update to the Android and iOS versions of its mobile apps, along with its mobile site, aimed at improving how users discover content, as well as how search returns are displayed.

Esteban Kozak, Twitter product management director, says: “Search results now surface the most relevant mix of Tweets, photos, and accounts, all in one stream (similar to the stream in Discover). We’ve also added a new search button to Twitter for iPhone, letting you search from anywhere within the app.”

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