Twitter bolsters search functionality

For the first time, users can limit searches to their own feeds

Twitter will bolster search functionality to automatically complete users' queries and suggest related search terms, among other improvements announced in a blog post on Friday.

"These updates make it even easier to immediately get closer to the things you care about," Twitter said in the blog post.

The autocomplete feature populates a drop-down list of suggestions while the user is typing in his or her query. The user can select a completed option and be redirected to the appropriate results page. Twitter notes this feature is "especially useful if you're trying to follow the hashtag for an event."

Users will also have the option to limit search results to tweets from users they follow. In other words, users will be able to search their own Twitter feeds, rather than the entire site, for information.

The beefed-up search function will also return results to a query for a person's real name that include tweets that refer to the person by user name. A search for the United States Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe, for example, would return tweets that cite her user name, mPinoe.

Users have at times been critical of Twitter's search feature, and the company has made several recent efforts to improve it. In May, it debuted spelling correction for search queries.

In response to today's changes, user Michelle Ray tweeted, "it's usually easier to just search Google for Twitter accounts."

But user Leah, whose previous Tweet read, "I Google everything," responded, "The search bar on Twitter just made Twitter better OMG."

The new features will be available in Twitter's apps for iPhone and Android as well as on its website. Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment or for more information.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

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