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Twitter Tweaks Tweet Search

Autocomplete suggestions and query filtering promises to make finding relevant tweets much easier.

5 Social Networks To Achieve 10 Business Tasks
5 Social Networks To Achieve 10 Business Tasks
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Having decided last summer not to renew its search deal with Google, Twitter has been paying more attention to its own search capabilities.

In May, Twitter added spelling corrections and related queries alongside its search results. On Friday, the company introduced two more search features to make querying its real-time torrent of tweets more effective.

"[T]hese updates make it even easier to immediately get closer to the things you care about," said Twitter engineer Frost Li in a blog post.

Twitter's improvements are search autocomplete and "People you follow" search results.

Search autocomplete should be familiar to anyone who has used Google or Bing. It attempts to predict completed search terms as the user types, a convenience that can make searching much quicker. Twitter's autocompletion shows suggested terms or phrases in a dropdown menu, along with Twitter account names that match.

[ What happens when a popular services shuts down? Read iGoogle Refugees Flood Netvibes. ]

It remains to be seen whether Twitter will have to confront the problems presented by autocompletion, which arise when algorithmic query predictions guide users toward sensitive, offensive, or illegal keywords.

The addition of a "People you follow" filter to the tweet search results list allows users to restrict search queries to the tweets of people they follow. The default filter setting is "All"; Twitter also offers a "Top" filter, which restricts queries to the posts of the tweet elite--Twitter accounts with a large number of followers.

Search isn't the only area where Twitter is traveling a road paved by Google. Twitter recently introduced its own Transparency Report detailing government requests for information, a community service Google has provided for several years.

For years, Twitter looked like a potential acquisition for Google or Microsoft. But lately, it looks more like an emerging real-time communication platform preparing to go public.

Every company needs a social networking policy, but don't stifle creativity and productivity with too much formality. Also in the debut, all-digital Social Media For Grownups issue of The BrainYard: The proper tools help in setting social networking policy for your company and ensure that you'll be able to follow through. (Free with registration.)

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