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Fabrizio Rinaldi, May 01, 2020

How to Search Old Tweets

Like most social networks, Twitter lets you search through its history with a nice visual interface, but there's so much more you can do under the surface.

In this post you'll learn how to use the Advanced search, and then how to use a special syntax to find old tweets from anyone.

Here's how to use the Advanced Search

  1. Open Twitter, and click "Search Twitter" in the nav bar
  2. Type a query and it will usually show you relevant results
  3. If you want to be more specific you need to click the "Advanced search" button in the results page
  4. If you want to receive the resulting tweets via email, automatically, use Mailbrew.

twitter search
Here's the Advanced search button

Thanks to a special syntax, you can make complex and powerful Twitter searches right from the search input field. This can be a more powerful and quicker way to get the tweets you're looking for.

twitter advanced search
The Advanced search interface

With a tool like Mailbrew you can also receive Twitter search results via email, automatically.

mailbrew twitter
Mailbrew in action

We'll show you some examples of what you can do with this syntax.

How to search tweets from a specific user

To find tweets coming from a specific account, use the from: filter followed by the account Twitter handle.

For example, to search tweets from Federico Viticci, search:

from:viticci

How to search your own tweets

To see and search all tweets coming from your account, you can use the from: filter, mixed with any query. For example, to search my own tweets I would write:

from:linuz90

Just see links from a specific account

The query below will return all the tweets from Federico Viticci that have a link in them:

from:viticci filter:links

How to search tweets by date

Let's say you want to find all the tweets from Federico Viticci from January 2019 to December. You can use the date syntax to do it:

from:viticci since:2019-01-01 until:2019-12-12

How to see tweets from various accounts in one feed

The query below will include all tweets from @verge, @techcruch and @macrumors:

from:verge OR from:techcrunch OR from:macrumors

Track Mentions of your company, product or competitors

We use this query to get all the tweets mentioning Mailbrew in our inbox. This way we can promptly respond to users and chip in when there are some issues:

mailbrew OR mailbrew.com -filter:retweets -from:mailbrew

This query does

  • include all tweets with "mailbrew" or "mailbrew.com" in them
  • exclude (notice the minus "-" in front of filter) retweets from the results
  • exclude tweets that are tweets from the @mailbrew account (we don't what to get back our own tweets)

Discover tweets quoting one of your tweets

Twitter does not show tweets quoting one of your tweets in the activity tab, so it's easy to lose track of them. With this query you will get all the tweets quoting one of the tweets from the frankdilo account (just replace frankdilo with your twitter username — in both places).

url:https://twitter.com/frankdilo/status/ -from:frankdilo

Explanation of queries and operators

Basic Search

If you just want all the tweets mentioning a specific keyword you can just use that keyword as your query:

Mailbrew

If you want to do an exact match (only get tweets that contain exactly what you typed to the letter) wrap your query in quotes:

"email newsletter"

Operators

OR

mailbrew OR mailbrew.com

This one allows you to combine queries and get tweets that match either the first or the second condition. It is pretty useful to track brand mentions.

This will give you all the tweets that have either "mailbrew" or "mailbrew.com" in them.

AND

mailbrew AND newsletters

Allows you to combine queries that match both of the provided conditions.

This will give me the tweets containing (in the same tweet) both the search terms mailbrew and newsletters.

Parentheses () to group operators

mailbrew ("service" OR "app")

This query will give you all tweets that include either "mailbrew service" or "mailbrew app".

Filtering by User

From

from:mailbrew

This will return tweets sent from the @mailbrew Twitter account.

To

to:mailbrew

This will return all the tweets sent to the @mailbrew Twitter account. Great to track feature requests and complains to competing products.

Filter by Content

You can use a dash/minus "-" in front of any operator to exclude its content instead of including it.

Retweets

Include only retweets in the search results:

filter:retweets

Exclude retweets from search results:

-filter:retweets

Replies

Include only replies in the results:

filter:replies

Exclude replies from search results:

-filter:replies

Links, Images and Videos

You can include tweets with only image/images/videos with the queries below:

filter:links
filter:images
filter:videos

Search inside urls

Using the url: operator you can search for content inside urls.

The query below will match all urls that link to macstories.net:

url:macstories.net

You're a Twitter Search Pro now

Now you know how to use Advanced Twitter Search like pro. Go ahead and find some tweets, or setup automatic email newsletters with Mailbrew to get the tweets you need, on your schedule.

Read next: How to use Google Alerts

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Use Cases

Your automated newsletter
Emails from your blog
Source content for your blog
Morning Brew