Twitter has announced a big and important change to its search functionality, and it’s an upgrade that pretty much everybody who has been active on Twitter for more than a week has been crying out for.
And here it is: older tweets now show up in search results on Twitter.
I repeat: older tweets now show up in search results on Twitter.
Previously, Twitter’s search functionality was limited to returning tweets from just the past seven days. That, of course, was rubbish. Yes, Twitter is very much an of the moment, real-time, blink-and-you-might-miss-it social platform, but that doesn’t mean that all that tweety goodness doesn’t have massive historical value. Which, of course, is constantly ongoing. With more than one billion tweets now being sent every 2-3 days, and more than six years of tweets in the bank, that’s a lot of history. There’s a lot of good stuff out there that we all want to look back at and enjoy. And now we can.
As far as I can tell, search now goes back to day one of Twitter, as you can see from this search for founder Jack Dorsey, and the first-ever Twitter tweet.
However, not every tweet will necessarily be shown in your search results – rather, it will a selection, based on the usual metrics like engagement value, possibly to protect their firehose arrangements with DataSift and Gnip.
Says Twitter about the news:
Previously, Twitter search results displayed Tweets going back about a week. We’ve developed a way to include older Tweets, so you can see content that goes beyond the more recent Tweets.
As we roll this out over the coming days, the Tweets that you’ll see in search results represent a fairly small percentage of total Tweets ever sent. We look at a variety of types of engagement, like favorites, 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. For now, enjoy your trip down memory lane!
They say it’s rolling out for it’s been working for me since I woke up this morning. Head over to Twitter.com to try it out for yourself.