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Twitter search: "the most popular" tweets will be the first

diciembre 4, 2019

All new Twitter search: from now on, when you do a search, there will be shown by default the tweets divided by order of popularity

Twitter has decided to move away from the system through which it was possible to benefit from the results of a search based on a chronological order and instead to focus on the popularity and relevance of the contents, the new Twitter research is born. From now on, when we run a search using the Twitter search bar, there will be shown by default the tweets divided by order of popularity on the results page. This change, with the new Twitter Search settings, has taken hold already last September, but was only formalized on Monday last. In case we still want to see the most recent live tweets on a specific topic, we will have to select the most recent entry, or photos, videos, Periscope or news.

Twitter research, at the service of popularity

In any case, Twitter wants to connote the social as based on popularity, to the detriment of what happens in real time and does so without clarifying the concept of popularity, which does not always coincide with authenticity or quality. The priority that could have been attributed to the most pertinent and useful information is also lost. The changes to the Twitter timeline, already announced last February, therefore give priority to the tweets considered better, rather than simply showing the most recent.

The opinion of Lisa Huang, Twitter research engineer

Lisa Huang software engineer from the Twitter research team explained the difficulty of prioritizing relevant tweets in the search results: Our team is using machine learning to decide in which order the tweets appear. A person's social behavior provides an invaluable source of information. Through the use of this information we can train machine learning models to predict the degree of involvement of a Tweet (composed of retweets, likes and responses). Later we can use these models to make a ranking based on the probability of involvement and it serves as a surrogate for the concept of relevance. But not at all simple, as Huang herself points out.

Involve, this is the problem

User involvement heavily depends on where a particular content appears. In other words, we will make a retweet much more likely if a post appears among the first results of our searches. The diversity of the results is another relevant aspect. Showing tweets coming from 5 news organizations that share the same video doesn't help, but on the basis of what does a profile deserve more views than others? Huang says the research team is still working to add diversity criteria to the search results.Search Twitter Social Network


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