Reddit Makes Comments Searchable for the First Time
Reddit has announced a new comments search tool that gives users the ability to get search results from replies to original posts – a first for the platform in its 16-year history.
Until now, Reddit users could only retrieve search results for original posts, communities, and individual users, meaning they would have to click on several posts and then scroll through what could sometimes be thousands of comments to find the information they were looking for in a thread.
With the latest changes, however, everything on Reddit is searchable – users, posts, communities, and now comments, allowing redditors to further refine their searches. In a blog post announcing the new function, Reddit offers an example of what this means in practice:
"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."
Alongside the much-requested comments search, Reddit says it has also improved search relevance to help users find results on the platform. Previously, results had to match the user's query almost exactly, but now it's less restrictive, and 100% of a query doesn't have to match the text of a post to return relevant results. In tests, Reddit says its changes led to a 60% increase in results.
As well as less restrictive matching, Reddit is now utilizing global user patterns and post interactions to improve results, so if someone is searching for a topic that a lot of other people are searching for, their results will be sorted to prioritize the newest content or the most popular clicks.
The new search features and improvements are coming in a new look for the search results page on desktop and mobile that's based on user feedback. The changes aim to show content in a simpler design that makes it easier to skim through results and find relevant information.
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, clicking within the search bar, and conducting a search.