Twitter will now display search results older than a week

Twitter will leave no stone unturned for ensuring user satisfaction, it would seem. The micro-blogging website has announced that it will now start displaying tweets older than one week in search results.

Just a few days after having released a major update to its iOS and Android devices that ensured relevant content and easier search on your handsets, Twitter announced that it has developed a way that will ensure that older tweets are displayed when you search for something, going beyond only the first few recent tweets.

This tool could be pretty helpful if you’re trying to find information that dates back a little. For example, you want to search for tweets pertaining to the longish Kumbh Mela taking place in India currently, you will now be able to find relevant tweets that date back to the beginning of the event a few weeks ago.


Dig deeper into the Twitter archive!


The search results that are now being displayed still form only a small percentage of the toal tweets ever published, says Twitter. The micro-blogging site takes into consideration engagements such as Favourites, retweets and clicks to determine which Tweets to show. The site said that it would be looking at steadily increasing this percentage over time, and will ‘ultimately aim to surface the best content for your query.’

The search feature is getting more emphasis than ever before when it comes to social networking today. With Facebook throwing its trump card – the Graph Search and Twitter paying more attention to visually rich search content, it’s only a matter of time before better and more effective search tools come into play.

Twitter’s recent update to its iOS and Android apps too laid special emphasis on the search feature with the iOS app even getting a spanking new search button. The update has made it easier to discover all the content in the tab by turning it into one giant, single stream that contains tweets, activity, trends and account suggestions. The new Discover is available on both iPhone and Android devices. It is possible to navigate to Activity and Trends with new previews at the top of the Discover tab, too.

The most defining of all search result activities undertaken by Twitter, though is the recent downloadable archived tweet dump. The feature that is being rolled out to users steadily allows them to download all the tweets they’ve ever posted from their profile, neatly arranged month-wise. Before this feature, it was only possible for users to view 3,200 of their most recent tweets only.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been driving this important feature to be an essential part of the micro-blogging site. In a talk at the Ford School of Public Policy and School of Information at the University of Michigan, Costolo had confirmed that he had been getting his engineers to roll this function out as soon as they could. At 350 million tweets being posted per day, according to the CEO, the feat was not an easy one to pull off.


The then system worked well with creating real-time search and distribution on the timelines at the rate of 15,000 tweets per hour, Costolo said. He elucidated this with the example of the night of the US Presidential elections, “There was a point at which we were serving 1.3 million timelines. A timeline is my home timeline of all the tweets of the people I’m following; 1.3 million timelines per second. So keep in mind that’s every second 1.3 million timelines going out that are threading together every single tweet that’s coming in from around the world at 15,000 tweets per second, and organizing them in chronological order.”

That is a lot of data to stack and throw up during a search result and Twitter is slowly, but surely, crawling towards creating a strong tweet archive.

Published Date: Feb 11, 2013 05:39 pm | Updated Date: Feb 11, 2013 05:39 pm