After 17 years, Reddit is finally making its comments searchable, it 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 look through each post in the r/London community, browsing the comments to find it,” the product and design staff wrote. “Now, [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 survey conducted by Reddit last year. On top of that, during Reddit’s “limited initial testing,” around 26,000 people employed the feature to scan through more than five billion comments.
Reddit also improved search relevance to help users find results. Previously, a result had to match a query nearly exactly, but it’s now less restrictive. “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 our new treatment, they’re more likely to get related results.” In fact, Reddit said that it saw a 60 percent increase in results for queries that previously didn’t receive results. Search now also prioritizes newer content looks at a users 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 so you can more easily find what you’re looking for. It’s also reducing the number of unexpected results based on intent “to make search safer,” it said. The new features are now available around the world on the desktop website, but there’s no word on when they’re coming to the apps.