After 17 years, Reddit is finally making its comments searchable announced. Users can now get search results from replies to posts, rather than just the original posts and topics within a community. “Previously [you] would have to search through every post in the r/London community and search through the comments to find it,” wrote the product and design team. “So, [you] can easily see all the different recommendations on the best places for high tea that people have shared in comments.”
The ability to search comments was the top feature request from a poll conducted by Reddit last year. Additionally, during Reddit’s “limited initial testing,” around 26,000 people used the feature to search through more than five billion comments.
Reddit has also improved search relevance to make it easier for users to find results. Previously, a result had to match a query almost exactly, but now the restrictions are less stringent. “For example, suppose someone searches for ‘dogecoin stonks 2021’ and doesn’t find what they’re looking for because there isn’t an exact match; with our new treatment, he is more likely to get related results. In fact, Reddit said results for searches that had previously received no results were up 60 percent. Search now also prioritizes newer content, which looks at a user’s search history to prioritize results.
Finally, Reddit improved its search interface with a new, simpler design based on user feedback. It now prioritizes posts over other types of content and simplifies the results page, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. It also reduces the number of unexpected results based on the intent to “make searching safer,” it said. The new features are now available globally on the desktop site, but there’s no word on when they’ll come to the apps.
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