With Facebook coming out with its long awaited search engine last month, search is bound to be next big thing in the social space. The ability to search for friends within social networks is certainly going to become more important, especially once Facebook takes Graph Search out of beta later this year. Its not hard to imagine other social networks feeling the need to improve their own search products, if only to not be completely left behind.
The first to do so is Twitter, which has made some important updates in regards to how users are able to search on its app for iOS, Android and mobile Web, the social network said Wednesday on its blog. The app has made search results cleaner and linking to exterior websites simpler.
What's new in the app:
- Discover tab: With the update, the Discover tab now shows all content, meaning Tweets, Activity, Trends and suggestions of accounts to follow, in a single stream.
“You can also dive into Activity and Trends from new previews at the top of the Discover tab,” said Kozak.
- Search: Thanks to a new search button on the iPhone app, which was already available on Android and iPhone, users can search from anywhere with in the app. The button looks like a magnifying glass and will be located next to the button used to compose a Tweet.
In addition, when users search the app, they will get all of their information on a single stream that looks similar to the one they will see when they use the new Discover tab.
- Connect tab: Twitter has also updated the Connect tab to open automatically to Interactions, which will show them new followers, retweets and mentions. Users used to be taken directly to Mentions, and they can switch back to that by adjusting the default settings.
- Links: Lastly, if a user clicks a URL within a Tweet, it takes the user directly to that website in the mobile browser, rather than requiring them to first click to expand the tweet and then click again to go to the site.
The updated apps give Twitter users ”a single stream of content in each tab, so you can better find what’s most important to you when you on the go," Twitter product management director Esteban Kozak wrote.
Twitter has been making some changes to the look and feel of the site the last few months.
In December it rolled out new updates to user profiles on desktop and mobile, and added new features, including new header photos and photo streams.
Twitter added a new “header photos,” or 1252×626 pictures that work very similarly to Facebook Cover Photos, which appears above a user’s Tweets. They a simple way for people to express themselves on their page.
For mobile, photo streams were added to appear below a user’s most recent Tweets on iPhone, Android and iPad. Users can swipe through the stream, and then tap the thumbnail to see the photo in fullscreen.
A new background photo was also added, but it only appears on the Web version of Twitter.
(Image source: http://blog.twitter.com)