Why Twitter’s Search and Discovery Features are NOT a Game Changer

Twitter has announced a set of new features which enhance both the search and discovery features. You can now search and you’re be shown relevant Tweets, articles, accounts, images and videos. These are the changes:

  • Spelling corrections: If you misspell a term, Twitter will automatically show results for your intended query.
  • Related suggestions: If you search for a topic for which people use multiple terms, Twitter will provide relevant suggestions for similar terms.
  • 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.

While I appalled the engineering effort, I don’t foresee Twitter’s new Search & Discovery features as a game changer for two reasons:

1. Twitter Updates at Mind-Blowing Speed

Every day, there are 1 million new Twitter accounts created and 175 million Tweets are sent! This constant stream of information is great, but it doesn’t lend itself well to search and discovery. I just don’t dive into tweets for certain topics; instead, I search for interesting people to follow.

2. Twitter Digested Outside of Twitter.com 

What made Twitter amazing successful in the early years, was that the information could be created, digested, and shared completely separate from Twitter.com. This robust suite of APIs helped to spur tons of grow. As hard as Twitter execs try to bring folks back to Twitter.com, people are comfortable using and seeing tweets on other third-party platforms. For that reason, Twitter’s Search & Discovery features won’t be seen by many heavy users.

One caveat, the engineer at Twitter who’s leading the charge, Pankaj Gupta is extremely talented; he turned down offers from Google and Facebook to work at Twitter. He’s certainly smart enough to prove me wrong.

What do you think? Will these new features be a game changer for twitter? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

3 Comments

  1. 1
  2. 2

    Twitter itself is a game changer, we all use it in different ways and still trying to work out the potential, as indeed Twitter themselves are. Any additions to the woeful search option is welcomed. Nice to be talking about the subject though so I welcome that, Thanks Paul

    • 3

      @twitter-205666332:disqus Thanks for your comments! Twitter is a game changer; it’s incredible what 140 character updates mean to both the social and online world.

      I think you’ll see more and more, Twitter trying to drive more functionality out of existing features, as opposed to developing more features.

Leave a Reply