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Twitter app update boosts search features

Twitter has updated its mobile app with a focus on streamlined search and discovery.

On iPhone and Android, all content in the Discover tab - including tweets, Activity, Trends, and "who to follow" suggestions - will now appear in a single stream, rather than separate sections. The app pulls about 10 posts from various users — some you're following, some you're not — and displays them above a list of like suggestions. The collections continue in a never-ending scrollable catalogue.

Next up, Twitter made the Connect tab a little simpler by integrating new followers, retweets, and mentions into one default view. Those who prefer to see only your mentions can adjust the settings — in the "Connect tab" option, select "Mentions only."

The redesign also tackled search, which now culls the most relevant mix of tweets, photos, and accounts into one stream, similar to the Discover tab. For example, a quick search for Tom Hanks reveals the actor's personal account, as well as a grid of photos in which he was tagged, and the last eight days' worth of posts mentioning his name (which is bolded in each tweet).

iPhone users can now search from anywhere within the app, thanks to a new magnifying glass search button placed next to the compose icon in the top right corner. The feature is already available on the Android and iPad apps.

Additionally, the micro-blogging service boasted faster upload times for in-tweet links.

"Click a URL in a tweet to go directly to that website from any timeline and get to content highlighted on Twitter faster," product management director Esteban Kozak said in a blog post. Formerly, tapping any part of the message would first expand it, before a second click was required to open a website.

The updated Twitter app is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play.