While covering Google's closure of Google Moderator earlier, I searched Twitter on the desktop to see what people were saying about it (not much so far), and suddenly, just for a minute or two, Twitter was serving me a completely different search interface. Then, it was nowhere to be found. It actually went away before I left the page.
Here's what it looked like:
I'm not the only one who noticed it:
New Twitter search UI rolled out to Safari (not on Chrome yet) is much better. Hope better search results are next. pic.twitter.com/btGT5yQiYi
— Eugenie Sills (@esills) April 7, 2015
— iltommi (@iltommi) April 7, 2015
Whoa!! Twitter just changed the entire web browser layout when you do a search: pic.twitter.com/mK4CgoCk3T
— Alan Wolk (@awolk) April 7, 2015
After seeing these tweets, I checked Safari (I was using Chrome), and I'm not getting it there either. I've reached out to Twitter for more information, and will update accordingly.
As you can see from the screencaps, it lets you filter search results by the top ones, live results, accounts, photos, videos, news, those from everyone, those from people you follow, those from everywhere, and those near you. It also lets you easily save the search, embed it, or go to advanced search.
Clicking around through the different options, I couldn't get any of them to actually work. They all just directed me to the regular search results pages, showing results for "everything". It was clear that the new interface wasn't quite ready for primetime.
What's not so clear is if this is going to be rolled out to all users, or if it's just a test. Hopefully, it's the former, because this would be a huge improvement, and make Twitter better as a search tool. That combined with the fact that it now indexes every public tweet since Twitter began, make it a great resource for finding information. It should also keep Twitter itself as the best option for finding tweets even as it partners with Google.
Update: It's come back and gone away again.
Update 2: A Twitter spokesperson tells us, "I can confirm that we are experimenting with a new search experience."