Twitter to unveil major 'search and discovery' update today

Company's Pankaj Gupta, who runs the Personalization and Recommender Systems, says that search and discovery on the service will "change forever."

by Don Reisinger   July 6, 2012 5:05 AM PDT

Twitter could be planning a major update to its search and discovery feature later today, according to one of its employees.

Twitter's Pankaj Gupta, who runs the company's Personalization and Recommender Systems, sent out a tweet yesterday congratulating his team on an improvement to its search and discovery tools that, he says, will dramatically change the service.

"Search and discovery in Twitter [is] set to change forever after tomorrow," Gupta tweeted. "Team -- congrats and enjoy the enormity of your impact few understand today."

Twitter has quickly realized that improving the user's ability to access relevant information from the service is a key component in its future. The site's Discover tab takes information from the person's following list and attempts to deliver relevant updates based on that. Twitter says that the feature is designed to take advantage of "additional personalization signals."

"The accounts you follow paint a picture of what we call your interest graph," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said earlier this year at the Wired Conference. "That interest graph shapes a maybe even more compelling picture of who you are and what you're interested in than gender, age, location, etc."

Still, as Twitter users know, actually discovering information is not necessarily as easy (or rewarding) as it could be.

"I certainly send the Twitter engine enough signals -- tweets, retweets, follows, followers, and location data -- to help determine what is important to me," CNET's Dan Farber wrote in May. "So far, though, I have to believe that Twitter's Discovery engine has mistaken me for another user."

Maybe after today, that won't happen.

CNET has contacted Twitter for comment on Gupta's statement. We will update this story when we have more information.


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