Twitter is continuing to rapidly roll out new features to its platform in an effort to gain new users, and now we know what some of those new tools are going to look like.
Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York, Twitter chief financial officer Anthony Noto revealed some of Twitter’s new product plans, most of them centered around improving its current search function.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“If you think about our search capabilities we have a great data set of topical information about topical tweets,” Noto said. “The hierarchy within search really has to lend itself to that taxonomy.” With that comes the need for “an algorithm that delivers the depth and breadth of the content we have on a specific topic and then eventually as it relates to people,” he added.
Essentially, Twitter wants to make its search function return, better, more relevant results to people who might be looking to find out more about a trending topic, world event or breaking news. Currently, search results are displayed chronologically, with the latest tweets on top. As Noto explains, the results at the top aren’t always the most relevant, or informative. Following Google’s model, Twitter wants to make sure the search results at the top really are the “top results.”
Another feature we can expect to see is group messaging. From the WSJ:
Today, users can only send a direct message to one account at a time. But if, say, Noto tweeted about a football game and a couple of his “college buddies” replied to it, “I’m not sure I want to have (that) conversation in front of my boss and the rest of the 271 global users. I might want to take that to a private setting which you can do through direct messaging. Today you can only do that one to one as opposed to one to many. So that’s an example of innovation around sharing or expression that we can pursue over time.”
For marketers, a better search function is a welcome development. This gives them an incentive to craft the best, most informative tweets surrounding topics or trends to give them the best chance of showing in search results. It’s essentially learning SEO for social media. Of course, you can expect a better search to have more opportunities for brands to pay to have their promoted tweets show up higher in the results, much like they do with Google. Could we see the introduction of an AdWords type tool for Twitter?