Reddit makes comments searchable for the first time

Reddit has announced a new comment search tool that gives users the ability to get search results from responses 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, which meant they had to click through multiple 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 feature, Reddit offers an example of what this means in practice:

“If someone wanted to find a thread about the best locations in London, they used to have to go through every post in the r/London community, browse the comments to find it. Now they can easily see all the different recommendations on the best places for tea people have shared in the comments.”

Along with the much-requested comment 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 need to match message text to return relevant results. In testing, Reddit said its changes resulted in a 60% increase in results.

In addition to less restrictive matching, Reddit now uses 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 give priority to the most recent content or the most popular clicks.

reddit-comments-search.jpg

New search features and improvements are coming in a new look for the desktop and mobile search results page, based on user feedback. The changes aim to display content in a simpler design that makes it easier to hover over results and find relevant information.

The ability to search for comments is rolling out to the desktop today. This feature, along with the other updates, can be accessed by heading to the home feed, clicking in the search bar, and performing a search.

Article link: Reddit makes comments searchable for the first time

Harry L. Blanchard