Twitter — a last outpost of the unpersonalized internet — has taken the plunge.
Twitter search results, previously sorted solely based on time, will now be personalized.
Today we’re starting to roll out a completely new version of Twitter search. Not only will it deliver more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic, but it will also show you related photos and videos, right there on the results page. It’s never been easier to get a sense of what’s happening right now, wherever your curiosity takes you.
There is a bit of irony to the way twitter is marketing this announcement. Their blog boasts that the new search features can take you “#anywhere.” They’re pitching the change as enabling discovery in spite of the tendency of personalization to do the opposite.
In the end, the devil is in the details. How are results being personalized? Is way in which results are being personalized clear to users? And most importantly, how much control do users have over personalization?