Twitter’s Search feature for Direct Messages is underway

By Jane Manchun Wong, @wongmjane on 

As Twitter users, we often have to scroll through the numerous Direct Messages just to find the past conversations we want to recall. The older the message, the longer it takes to scroll, up to minutes if you are lucky. If you had a lot of private conversations and lost track of which thread it is, good luck with scrolling through all of them. At some point, you might as well hire someone to scroll through the messages for you. It happens to me and it feels like finding the needle in a haystack.

Good news to us! Twitter has started working on the Search feature, letting users search Direct Message inboxes by keywords. Finally!

I came across this unreleased Search feature by looking into the code underneath Twitter Web App, which indicates Twitter has recently started building this feature.

This feature currently exists as a search box in the Direct Messages inbox. Its placeholder text “Search for people and groups” indicates the search functionality will work with both Direct Messages with individuals and groups. By simply typing the keywords in the search box, the app will show the matching results.

The way this feature behaves indicates it is currently in an early stage of development, understandably. For now, it only matches names and usernames that are loaded into the app. It does not seem to search the older messages that are yet to be loaded. Once the rough edges are refined, the potential of this feature will be unleashed!

Twitter has been showing signs of improving its private messaging user experience through released and unreleased features. Just two weeks ago, I came across an unreleased feature in Twitter’s mobile app for Android that aims to improve the user experience of handling spammy Direct Messages by separating them into a section called “Additional Messages”.

Experimental features like these could come and go, though I believe many of us would love it if Twitter releases this feature in the future and saves us from all the finger exercises.

Jane Manchun Wong © 2019