Any plans to fix the Search widget?


This widget doesn’t display the same results as the search criteria specified or is missing users. Very strange. Very poor. If you click on the ‘going the conversation’ link at the bottom, the correct results are shown on another page so we know we’re not going mad. Come on twitter folks. You only have a few widgets and this is the most useful by far.


Can you share an example query you’re running in this case?


I’m trying to get anything for ‘joesstag’ but it’s omitting my user ID (jasonmurphy99) and psomatix.

Tried ‘joesstag’. Tried ‘joesstag OR chegsstag’

Any ideas welcome. Thanks.


One of the things that the Search widget is focused on is providing tweets based on topics, hashtags, and so on. Tweets by specific users have always been best-served by using the Profile widget – it pulls from the user’s timeline directly. If you’re wanting to display tweets by multiple specific users, it’s best to build a Twitter List and use the List Widget to display those tweets. You’ll find that the Search API evolves in how it treats queries over time, and if there’s a more deterministic result you’re looking for, it’d be best to use the widgets that are purposed for those results.


I use the profile widget for that purpose but this is a different purpose. I don’t know all of the users who will be tweeting ‘joesstag’ or specifically ‘#joesstag’. Using the hash does’t work eithers. I read you previous answers on similar topics where your suggested the profile widget but it’s really not fit for purpose in this case … and many other cases I’m sure. If I base it on hashtags, it still does’t work.

When you say ‘evolves’ - what does that mean exactly? As a developer, it’s a vague target and difficult to predict results to clients with expectations.

Thanks for your help.


I have another client who want to display any tweets with #llandeilojazz in a widget box - how to you propose achieving this with accurate results?


I’ll report to the search quality team that the search widget isn’t picking up mentions in this case – are there any improvements if you use operators such as “from:” or “to:” as kind of hints to the system that you’re looking for Tweets either authored or directed to the usernames in question? In this case, it looks as if the efforts to improve search quality have instead degraded your search experience.

As for evolution of search:
The search service for Twitter has always been focused on serving relevant results to ad-hoc user-mediated queries. This means that the main purpose of Search, as we see it, is to satisfy a user who is providing a query at a specific moment in time. Search is not an exhaustive index of all public tweets on Twitter (and never has been), and responses adapt to what it perceives as being most relevant for the query. As part of our continued efforts to focus on relevance and quality, we’ve been experimenting with a few result quality levers lately – specifically on search widgets, but you’re also likely to see these refinements elsewhere on Twitter as well.

In most cases, if a client wants to provide a more deterministic view of Tweets, they’ll leverage a Streaming API-based integration and cache tweets before displaying to end users – with the side effect of also not worrying about client-side rate limiting, a problem shared by all of our widgets. You lose a bit of the control & determinism that you may find in a versioned API like the Streaming API when using the widgets and Search API. If you or your clients are after completeness, the Search API and widgets will never be the best options.


to: and from: unpredictable too.

Your reply mentions determinism and ‘to what it perceives’. The Search Widget page shows the user a logic interface we’re quite familiar with. Good old fashioned AND, OR, LIKE is what every developer will understand and every conversation on it will include. If I sent a client an answer containing ‘to what it perceives’, they’d think I’ve been watching too much star trek.

Please. It’s still all logic. Just say it doesn’t work and then tell us when it’s getting fixed or change the way you’re publishing the tool to be more relevant to the way the tool works. I’m aiming for those results because that’s what it says it can do.


grappling this topic as well.

seems to me the quality “lever” Taylor speaks of is closely related to (a) newbie vs. veteran user account status, or b) # of followers or tweets of account, or c) avatar or no avatar in use. Some of those qualities tie in closely, obviously, but i cant find consistency of this widget nor an answer. Whatever results come in from the Search page should be the ones seen on a search feed of identical query.


Why would a twitter widget pull results from more than one account ?