Today, Reddit is updating its search feature to index comments. For the first time, users will have an option to pull results from replies to posts, making it less of a hassle to find something specific outside of general Reddit posts, communities, and people. The rollout is Reddit’s latest change to help users encounter content from outside their usual subreddits following the addition of a discovery tab on its mobile app in January.
Reddit says that in a user survey last year, the ability to search comments was one of the top results. During “limited initial testing,” Reddit claimed 26,000 users went on to use the feature against five billion comments. Right now, the new ability is available globally for users searching on Reddit’s desktop website, but not via its apps (which might be one more reason to turn off that app installation pop-up).
In addition to comment searching, Reddit is also updating its search experience to help users find more relevant search results written by real people. For example, when searching for something, instead of showing search results with that exact wording, related results will pop up instead to make the search less restrictive.
Right now, when you search on Reddit, search results are populated by relevance. With the new search feature, results will be based on post interactions within the site. Now Reddit’s search results take into account how popular a particular result is across the platform. Interactions with a particular search result will help determine which of these results will rank the highest.
This new method also allows users to see newer or trending results prioritized by the platform when a lot of people are searching for information on the same thing. So, if Reddit is your go-to for testimonials during an outage or to look up the latest breaking news, you’ll have a better likelihood of seeing recent results with Reddit’s new desktop update.