With over 500 million tweets posted every day, Twitter can quickly overwhelm even its most hard-core users. The good news is that Twitter is working hard to help you find the most important tweets for you.
The social media service has introduced two new features: While You Were Away and Searching to make it easier for you to see the most important tweets.
While You Were Away
When you arrive at Twitter you’re greeted with the most recent tweets from people you follow. You may see links to breaking news, helpful articles, inspirational quotes, sports scores, celebrity gossip or whatever interests your tweeps are tweeting about. But you may miss out on some very important tweets that are too far down on your timeline for you to notice.
No worries. Twitter is rolling out While You Were Away, a feature that finds the most important tweets you missed since the last time you visited. From Twitter: “We can use information like who you follow and what you engage with to surface highlights of what you missed and show those to you as soon as you log back in or come back to the app.”
Think of While You Were Away like your Facebook News Feed. Facebook no longer shows you all of your friends’ posts chronologically. Instead, Facebook New Feed displays the posts it regards as the most important ones for you to see.
If you don’t like this new Twitter feature, or when you’ve finished reading the important tweets, you can easily close While You Were Away by clicking on the X to return to your Twitter feed and go back to seeing tweets in chronological order. Unlike Facebook News Feed, Twitter gives you a choice of going back to reading tweets in the order they’re posted.
Twitter recently began rolling out this feature to users so if you haven’t seen it don’t panic. You should have While You Were Away available to you in the coming weeks.
How do you like to see your social media posts? Do you prefer to be shown important posts first or to see all posts in chronological order? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll and let us know!
As Twitter becomes an increasingly important source of information, accessing past tweets gains significance. But until recently, searching Twitter revealed only tweets posted within the past week.
Twitter took on a massive project two years ago: to index its entire database of tweets to make it searchable by users. This indexing project has been completed successfully giving us a much broader access to information on Twitter.
Now every public tweet posted since Twitter’s launch in 2006 is available via search. The indexed tweets database now includes over a half a trillion tweets and is 100 times larger than the previously indexed database of recent tweets. With Twitter’s database growing at a rate of about 3 1/2 billion tweets a week, this search capability represents a ginormous source of information, yet search results are delivered in approximately 100 milliseconds, according to Twitter.
“This new infrastructure enables many use cases, providing comprehensive results for entire TV and sports seasons, conferences (#TEDGlobal), industry discussions (#MobilePayments), places, businesses and long-lived hashtag conversations across topics, such as #JapanEarthquake, #Election2012, #ScotlandDecides, #HongKong,#Ferguson and many more.”
How to Use Twitter Search
Head to the Twitter Search page and enter your search terms. You can search Twitter by:
- Twitter accounts
- Positive :-)
- Negative :-(
- Question ?
Click the Search button and you will instantly be presented with the results of your search. Easy, peasy.
Background on How Twitter Search Was Developed
If you’re a developer, computer scientist or a curious person, you may want to check out Twitter’s Engineering Blog to learn how this massive project was undertaken: Building a complete Tweet index. Kudos to the Twitter team for their hard work in making their site even more valuable.
Have you seen the While You Were Away Twitter update? Are you glad to be shown more important tweets when you log on to Twitter? Have you used Twitter’s new search feature? What features would you like to see Twitter add? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Twitter cloud image (edited) by Jeff Turner via Flickr and Creative Commons