Reddit’s Latest Update To Introduce New Comment Search Feature

London, UK - July 31, 2018: The buttons of the app Reddit, surrounded by Pinterest, Whatsapp, and other apps on the screen of an iPhone.

Reddit has announced a number of new updates to its search capabilities to make its platform more easily searchable, starting first with the ability to search comments.

With this latest update, for the first time in sixteen years everything on Reddit is now searchable – users, posts, communities, and now comments – making Reddit one of the first platforms with this capability. Additional new features include completely new user interfaces for search and improved search relevance.

With the new comment search capability, users looking for particular discussions or comments on Reddit no longer need to click on several posts and then scroll through what can sometimes be thousands of comments to find threads that are relevant to them.

The new feature solves this problem and quickly gives redditors the ability to comment search directly and further refine their searches by searching for comments within specific communities.

For example – if someone wants to find a thread about the best locations in London, previously they would have to look through each post in the r/London community, browsing the comments to find it. Now, they can easily see all the different recommendations on the best places for high tea that people have shared in comments.

Last year, Reddit surveyed users asking what they wanted to see most out of search, and one of the top results was comment search. In their limited initial testing, the platform saw that more than 26,000 redditors used comment search to scan through over five billion comments.

Reddit has also been hard at work creating a new look for the search results page on desktop and mobile – showing content in a new, simpler design. Based on user feedback the platform now prioritizes posts over other content types in its updated search design and simplified the results page so users can more easily skim through the results and find what they’re looking for.

The team is also working to make search safer for all users by reducing the number of unexpected results based on the searcher’s intent. In Q1 of 2022 alone, Reddit has seen a 20% growth increase up from Q4 2021 in users utilizing the search function on its platform, signalling that the continued improvements are helping redditors quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.

Improving relevance in search has been another core area of focus for Reddit’s team. To make search a better experience, they updated their infrastructure and focused on:

  • Allowing for less restrictive matching – 100% of a query doesn’t have to match the text of a post to return relevant results. By doing this Reddit noticed a 60% increase in results for queries that previously didn’t receive results. For example, let’s say someone searches for “dogecoin stonks 2021,” and doesn’t find what they’re looking for because there isn’t an exact match; with the new treatment, they’re more likely to get related results (and more of them) than they would have before.
  • Using user patterns to improve results – Reddit now has a better understanding of user intentions when they search for something on the platform. For example, if someone is searching for a topic that a lot of other people are searching for, it’ll automatically sort their results to prioritize the newest content to make sure the results are fresh.
  • Incorporating signals for post results – this enhancement looks at users’ clicks and interactions on search results as a ‘signal’ of what might be valuable for them. For example, if 30 other people clicked on the fourth post result when they searched for “succulents”, the next time someone else searched for “succulents,” we are more likely to show the fourth post at the top position in results.

The ability to comment search is rolling out today on desktop. This feature, along with the other updates, can be accessed by heading to the home feed and clicking within the search bar, and conduct a search.



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