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Twitter is enhancing the service’s search function to allow for greater discovery of new content and information on the part of users, it announced in a blog post Friday. The idea is to provide them with auto-suggestions in the search bar that correlate with who users follow when they search for a particular term.
While Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has said repeatedly that Twitter is not a media company, Mathew Ingram has written for GigaOM on the ways in which Twitter works to provide and curate content for users, just as many digital media companies do. Enhancing its search feature so that users can see more information related to their existing Twitter relationships and interests fits with this trend on Twitter’s part.
Om wrote about Twitter’s search push earlier this month:
It has been fairly obvious for a few years that the search-driven, URL-centric web would converge with the web of social objects. It is something that is driving Google’s paranoia. It is also something Facebook dreams about. However, the company most likely to capture the opportunity is Twitter, the San Francisco-based company that started life as a micro-messaging company but has now evolved into a new kind of hybrid-media platform.
The search bar will now show “relevant Tweets, articles, accounts, images and videos for your query.” It will also provide spelling corrections, related suggestions, suggestions with usernames and accounts, and results from people a user follows.
Twitter’s announcement was hyped on Thursday evening by a tweet from engineer Pankaj Gupta, that said, “Search & discovery in @Twitter set to change forever after tmrw. Team – congrats and enjoy the enormity of ur impact few understand today!” Twitter announced the changes on Friday afternoon.
Users have been asking for an improved search function for years and expressed their delight (on Twitter of course) when they heard the news:
About time. Twitter search has been non-ideal since forever.
— Ben Abraham (@10rdBen) July 6, 2012