Google+ is refining its search by adding real-time results and additional support for hashtags.
The first feature, real-time search results, allows users to click either the "Most recent" or "X more recent posts" to see the current real-time postings. Additionally, once you've switched to see real-time results, new posts relevant to your search will continue loading the moment they're posted. This lasts for the duration of your search session.
The second feature is additional support for hashtags. While Vic Gundotra, SVP of Engineering at Google, specifies that searches will still work just fine without hashtags, the tags are now more integrated with search results: Adding a hashtag will make the word link to a Google+ search on the topic.
This is likely to lead to the rise of Plus-specific hashtags, such as the various Twitter tags built by the community. Gundotra used the "#googleplusupdate," which has become popular on Plus in recent weeks, in the announcement of this product. Other tech, social, or completely random tags may follow soon.
The two new features are designed to "make it easier to follow and contribute to live events on Google+," according to Gundotra.
You might not see the feature yet because the rollout of both features is "gradual." No more specific timeline was provided.
This is the first major return of Google’s Realtime search, which was shut down back in July when Google’s access to Twitter’s firehose of data expired. We knew previously that real-time would return with Google+, but most assumed it would be an external search that included Plus postings – not an embedded part of Plus itself.
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