Twitter introduced a new search feature today, geared toward making it easier for users to discover new accounts of interest.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey, who just returned to day-to-day operations at Twitter has made it clear that getting people to figure out what to use Twitter for is a top priority. This seems to fit into that agenda. People are more likely to continue to using Twitter, at least as an information consumption tool, if they care about who is doing the tweeting.
Users can now search for topics and find accounts relevant to the topic, whereas before, such a search would have returned accounts that have the specific term in their name or username. The feature can be utilized by clicking on the "people" section of the search results page or by searching from the "who to follow" page.
"This new approach helps you find the Twitter users that will best help you follow your interests," says Twitter's Carolyn Penner. "For example, if you’re interested in hip hop, chances are that you’d like to follow hip hop artists. Searching for "hip hop" now surfaces accounts like @common and @questlove. (Previously, we typically showed accounts that have “hip hop” in the name.)"
"Whether you're an aspiring cupcake baker, a crafty person looking for new DIY projects or someone who likes to keep an eye out for a great travel deal, you'll be able to quickly find and connect with useful accounts," says Penner. "You can search for general topics, like funny or sports, or be more specific – try Manchester United, Nascar or Formula One."
While the feature will certainly help users find accounts to follow, it should also help accounts be found, which is good for business in itself. Follower counts should be on the increase.
If you don't mind a shameless plug, you might consider checking out our own Twellow as well. The service makes it easy to find all kinds of interesting Twitter users to follow, based on category or location (try the TwellowHood feature).