Some users are seeing something new when they search for a person or topic within Twitter – highlighted search results appearing at the top.
These new results, “Top News” and “Top People,” look like they are there to point Twitter users in the right direction following searches, to get them to the most relevant results quickly and effortlessly.
Apparently, when certain users search a topic, let’s say “iPhone battery life,” they now see a standalone box above the rest of the tweet results that says “Top News.” In the box, there’s no tweet with a link to a news story – instead there’s simply a headline, photo, and link to the news story. There’s no word on how Twitter decides which link gets the priority as the top story, but you would think that it has to have something to do with retweets – a similar way in which “top tweets” are determined,
With the new search features, a search within Twitter for a person, say “Obama” gives you the same standalone result above all the tweets. In this case, the official Twitter account of Barack Obama would be the top person.
GigaOM has captured this very scenario:
Twitter has become a new source of news, making millions of people amateur journalists by simply putting out their observations in 140 characters. The “top news” search result looks to give priority to more traditional news outlets – although how much more traditional is left to be determined. Who really knows whose link could turn up as a top news story?
Twitter has also been testing another new feature – a new timeline view that brings everything inline. That means media like photos and videos would be accessible in your timeline, so you don’t have to go to another page to view it. The new timeline also displays responses to tweets and retweets inline – making it feel a little more like Facebook or Google+‘s commenting system.
What do you think about the possible new Twitter features? Let us know in the comments.