Twitter Search Tool Guide

6 different ways to search Twitter

Twitter Bird Illustration

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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 their limitations. The 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.

Independent Twitter Search Tools

All of these are good supplements to the Twitter internal search tool, with more capabilities than Twitter's native search.

  1. 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.
  2. TwitScoop - TwitScoop is an alternate user interface for Twitter. Click on "search" on its homepage and you can try an alternative way to search tweets. It basically lets you do keyword searches.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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. Finding people on Twitter is easier if you use specialized Twitter user search tools such as Tweepz or WeFollow.

Our 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 a search that can keep you up to date on when and how Twitter changes its internal search features and tools.