Twitter touts search tweaks

Putting search results on a separate page wasn't "awesome," according to co-founder Biz Stone, so current design tests are putting them on the home page.

Twitter continues to fidget with the way it's implementing search on it site.

For several weeks, the company has been testing a news presentation of Twitter search among a small subset of its users. The format placed the search box high on the home page but delivered the search results on a separate page.

"It turns out that's not the awesome way to do it," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote late Wednesday in a blog post.

Twitter search
Here's how Twitter search is shaping up. Twitter

Now Twitter is making a trial run with putting the search results directly on the home page. Wrote Stone:

We went back to the original sketch and made everything far more awesome. Currently, a small subset of Twitter users are trying this new search feature in the sidebar of their Twitter home page.

When you do a search, you don't go to another page; the relevant tweets instantly show up where you'd expect them to--right on your home page, where tweets love to be.

Other changes in the design include the ability for users to save particular search terms for searches they do regularly. There's also a Trends feature in beta, Stone wrote.

Stone didn't set any timetable for when the changes would be rolled out more broadly, save to say that "the technical infrastructure to support it is mostly in place" and that Twitter would "get these features out to everyone as soon as possible."

At CNET sister site ZDNet, Sam Diaz has positive things to say about the changes, but he cautions that they may not be enough to overcome the allure of outside tools. Wrote Diaz:

With an open API, there is no shortage of Twitter applications being developed, allowing users to do all of their tweeting from apps, instead of their home page.

For example, I use Twitterific for the Mac. It pops up every 10 minutes or so along the right side of my screen, stays there for about 10 seconds, and then disappears--unless I click on the window. From Twitterific, I can do pretty much everything (though I haven't found a way to follow new people through it). Otherwise, I can all go all day without ever visiting Twitter.com.

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About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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