How to Find People on Twitter by Email

The people you know make the best Twitter followers

You finally launched a Twitter account, and your follower number is a big bold zero, causing you to wonder how you can get more followers quickly. Who better to recruit than people you already know? You probably have a large list of email contacts who would be happy to learn of your presence on their favorite social network. Here's how to search for and follow people on Twitter using their email addresses.

How to Import Your Email Contacts to Twitter

Twitter has put together a fairly simple set of instructions for adding people through emails in your address book. Here's how to do it via an Android or iOS device:

  1. Open the Twitter app.

  2. Swipe right to open the menu.

  3. Select More > Settings and Privacy > Privacy and safety > Discoverability and Contacts.

  4. Turn on Sync address book contacts. This causes Twitter to upload contacts on an ongoing basis and use those contacts as suggestions for who to follow on the social network.

    You can import your contacts into Twitter and follow them

    Turning off sync later won't remove previously uploaded contacts.

  5. Grant Twitter permission to access your contacts if necessary.

  6. Once you import your contacts, people who are already using Twitter are highlighted. Follow those individuals by selecting Follow next to their usernames or follow all your contacts who are on Twitter by selecting Follow all.

Searching for Contacts on Twitter

You can search for people by name in the main search box on the site. They're searchable by email address and by phone number, but only if they activate those features in their Privacy and safety settings. They're not activated by default, and many users don't turn the features on intentionally or don't realize they're there, so you may not have any luck finding someone by searching for an email address on Twitter. It doesn't hurt to try, though.

More on Twitter and Email

Here are a few more things to keep in mind about imported contacts and Twitter:

  • Twitter doesn't let you create a new account using an email address that's already in use. If you want to create five Twitter accounts, for example, you need five unique email addresses.
  • If you want to change your email address, go to your profile > Settings and Privacy > Account and replace your current email address with your new one. Twitter asks for your password to confirm the request. Then it sends a confirmation email to the new address and asks you to click a link.
  • If you're getting too much email from Twitter, you can update your preferences. To manage your email notifications, go to Profile > Settings and privacy > Email notifications. Review the list and check or uncheck the different types of email notifications Twitter sends out.
  • If you get an email from Twitter that looks suspicious, forward it to spoof@twitter.com. Emails that look fishy and ask you for your login information are called phishing emails.