Twitter Search Tool Guide

10 Top Twitter Search Tools

Twitter blue bird icon
Top Twitter Search Tools. By Jessekoeckhoven (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Finding the best Twitter search tool isn't easy because there are a ton of third-party Twitter search services, as well as several built-in Twitter search tools.

Twitter.com features both a decent internal search box and a more advanced Twitter search tool. Both, however, have limitations. One big one is they don't go far back in time. To search tweets sent six months ago or last year, for example, you'll need a third-party Twitter search tool.

Here are 10 independent Twitter search tools, all of which are good supplements to the Twitter internal search tool.

SocialMention

SocialMention is one of the more powerful ways to search and analyze information posted on Twitter and other social media. It monitors a lot more than Twitter. Other social services it searches include Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube and Digg, to name just a few. SocialMention covers more than 100 different social media services.

Topsy

Topsy bills itself as "real-time search for the social Web." One advantage it offers over Twitter's internal search service is that it indexes tweets a lot farther back in time--all the way to the spring of 2008. 

Twinitor

This real-time Twitter search service lets you monitor what people are tweeting about. It has a bare-bones user interface that's focused on searching tweets, topics and other people using Twitter.

Monitter

Monitter is similar to Twinitor; it's another real-time engine that search messages sent on Twitter.

It lets you monitor particular keywords and tailor your results by geography.

TwitScoop

TwitScoop is an alternate user interface for Twitter. Click on "search" on its home page and you can try an alternative way to search tweets. It basically lets you do keyword searches.

SnapBird

This Twitter search box has a pulldown menu that lets you filter your tweet searches by ,say, a particular person's timeline, or tweets that a particular person has sent or marked as a "favorite." It allows more targeted searching than Twitter's search box does.

TweetMeme

TweetMeme attempts to measure hot topics and popular themes in tweets by using various formulas that analyze "social signals" like retweets. It's a popular site for tracking the Twittersphere.

TwimeMachine

This tool lets you browse an archive of your own tweets, much further back than Twitter does. Sign in with your Twitter user ID and it will let you browse up to 3,500 of your tweets.

TwitJobSearch

TwitJobSearch just what its name implies--a service that searches Twitter for job listings or mentions. It relies on any keywords (like "industrial engineer" or "retail sales analyst") that you enter, and will search tweets on Twitter for matching messages. It typically links to the job posting elsewhere on the Web that someone has linked to from within a tweet.

TweetScan

This is another bare-bones tool for searching Tweets. As Twitter continues to improve its own internal tweet search tools, sites like TweetScan could lose much of their appeal. But for now, it's pretty useful.

Other Twitter Search Tools

There are many other specialized Twitter search tools. One big category is Twitter user directories. How to find people on Twitter is easier if you use specialized Twitter user search tools such as Tweepz or WeFollow.

This guide on how to find followers on Twitter identifies some of those user search tools and strategies.

Stay Current on Twitter Search

New Twitter search services are always popping up, so it's a good idea to do a Google search on, say, "best Twitter search tool" once or twice a year if you want to be serious about pruning your search tool list and getting the most out of Twitter searches.

Twitter's own help center also has a useful page on best practices for search that can keep you up to date on when and how Twitter changes its internal search features and tools.