|New search results put photos above the stream of tweets
on both desktops and mobile devices. Photo: Twitter
Twitter's newest search feature, implemented on Nov. 15, will highlight photos and videos in search results, making the microblogging service overall much more visual. So visual, in fact, that the new design quickly was described as mimicking some of the most visual elements of Instagram and Facebook by CNET and other media.
When you consider that Instagram has grown 35% among brands in the last quarter, outpacing the growth of other social networks including Google+ and Pinterest, and that it now has more active daily users than Twitter, the mimicry makes sense.
The new search results, which are being displayed on Twitter.com and on mobile devices, now give users the ability to:
View photos and videos first: When you search for a person, an event or a hashtag, you can now see a grid of the most relevant visual media above the stream of tweets.
See headlines and photos: Media photos and article summaries automatically show previews in search results, which means content and articles have greater visibility within search.
Understand context: Twitter will now tell you why it thinks certain tweets are more relevant to you, based on who favorited or retweeted it.
What does this mean for the PR professional? It places more importance on visual content. Think of including photos as a way to increase the SEO of your tweets. Tweets with images have a much greater chance of breaking through the clutter than even the most perfectly worded tweet.
Despite past quarrels between Twitter and Instagram about integration, the new photo results in the search filter are pulling in Instagram photos, so for those brands that are active on Instagram, there's more incentive than ever to share those photos on Twitter.
Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg