Twitter launches photo service and revamps search
Twitter has overhauled its search service and launched a photo sharing service, Dick Costolo, the company’s chief executive, has announced.
Speaking at the annual D9 conference in California, Costolo revealed the changes to Twitter.com.
He said that over the next several weeks Twitter will be releasing a way to upload a photo and attach it to a tweet straight from Twitter.com.
Users will also soon be able to easily do this from all of the official Twitter mobile apps. Twitter has partnered with Photobucket to hosting the photos behind the scenes.
Costolo also announced the immediate overhaul of Twitter search. The search engine has been recreated to “deliver more relevant tweets when users search for something or click on a trending topic”.
The new search engine will also show users related photos and videos, on the results page.
Twitter has worked with Firefox on its latest version to allow users to type a ‘#hashtag’ or an ‘@username’ directly into the address bar in order to go right to a search results page, such as #xfactor, or someone's profile page, by typing @dickc (Costolo’s Twitter handle).
Twitter has gradually added to its core service, which was initially very simple. Features such as replies, retweets of interesting comments and hashtags for collating tweets about specific events were all created by users and later supported officially.
The company recently spent $40m (€27.6m) on Tweetdeck, a British Twitter client designed for power users of the service.
Months earlier, Twitter warned developers against building services that “reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience”.
However, some developers, such as Twitpic, are likely to see the launch of a photo-sharing service as Twitter expanding the mainstream experience in a way that undermines their services.
There was a minor row last month when Twitter announced that third-party apps would be required to use a more unwieldy process for authenticating user accounts than the procedure followed by its official apps.
This was seen by some as an attempt by Twitter to make third-party apps less appealing for users.
Twitter’s view has always been that it wants a simple, uniform experience for users, regardless of the platform that they use to interact with the service. It seems that they are about to extend that experience to photos too.