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Twitter Upgrades Search With Autocomplete, ‘People You Follow’ Results

Twitter has introduced two new search functions that should help improve the user experience: AutoComplete and the ability to filter results out to include only those from people you follow.

In the announcement, engineer Frost Li said search autocomplete displays “the most likely terms” to complete a query, as the user is typing. There was no further information offered as to how Twitter determines which terms are most relevant.


Google has offered autocomplete in organic search since 2004, when it first launched as Google Suggest (it would be renamed in 2010).

On Google+, however, autocomplete is not offered; you won’t find it on Facebook, either. Both of those social networks bring up suggested results from within their own site in real time, as the user types, but neither offers alternatives to complete the term typed.

Facebook last announced improvements to their internal search in 2009. As much as rumors fly about Facebook getting into search, we’ve seen little by way of innovation in that department from the social network.

See Search Results from People You Follow


This may be the longest overdue search feature going, but it’s finally here. Users can now filter tweets down to “Top,” “All,” or “People You Follow.” This gives users the ability to search on any given topic and only see tweets from people already in their network.

Other improvements to Twitter search:

  • Spelling corrections: Twitter will automatically show results for the intended query when it is misspelled.
  • Related suggestions: Based on popular terms people are talking about in relation to the search query.
  • Real names and usernames in search results: For easier identification of accounts without clicking through.

Your turn, Facebook.

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