Twitter Search Will Start Surfacing Older Tweets, Finally

It's now possible to go back in time more than a week

By on February 8th, 2013 08:55 GMT

Twitter is all about the real time, information flows fast and nobody cares what you said two days ago, not even you. The fact that it has been close to impossible to search for tweets older than a few days only helped with this.

Still, Twitter is now making it possible to go back further in time and surface the long-forgotten tweets of last week or even more ancient times than that.

Twitter has been working on a revamped search and ranking algorithm. The fact that information and what's relevant changes so fast was a challenge for Twitter, the problem was how to understand and rank the newest tweets.

So it's interesting to see Twitter look at older tweets as well. Granted, you'll see older tweets in search results only rarely, when they really are relevant.

Twitter looks at several factors when determining whether to show an old tweet or not, retweets, favorites, how popular the tweet proved in general.

"We also started to roll out an additional update on our mobile apps as well as on twitter.com: you'll now be able to find older Tweets using search. To see for yourself, try searching for [Manchester United Southampton] or [#SpotTheShuttle]," Twitter explained.

"Previously, Twitter search results displayed Tweets going back about a week. We’ve developed a way to include older Tweets, so you can see content that goes beyond the more recent Tweets," it said.

"As we roll this out over the coming days, the Tweets that you’ll see in search results represent a fairly small percentage of total Tweets ever sent," it added.

Twitter plans to increase the number of older tweets it surfaces, in time. However, they will only be showed if they are relevant to the query, it's unlikely you'll see a flood of ancient quips in the search results.

Comments