How Twitter search works

Introduction

Twitter has more than 210 million daily active users worldwide who send 500 million tweets per day. That is a giant haystack of information when you're either looking for that one needle or if you want to stay in the loop about a specific topic. To tackle this problem, Twitter provides basic search functionality.

Like search on Google, Bing, and other sites, Twitter search can be used to find content that has been shared by users. The following article explains how basic Twitter search works on the web and provides some tips for getting the most out of your Twitter search experience.

Getting Started

On Twitter's website, you'll find the search box in the top right corner. When you start typing, you'll immediately get a list of suggestions:

  • A magnifying glass denotes suggestions for hashtag or keyword searches, including popular searches from other users
  • A list of accounts that match the term you entered
  • In addition, popular photos and videos are shown where appropriate

If you want to dig deeper, select one of the search suggestions or simply hit enter on the term you entered. This will bring you to the results page.

Filter Your Results

On the results page, you have five basic filter options:

  • Top results are what Twitter thinks is most interesting to you
  • Latest results are displayed in strict chronological order
  • People results are accounts or people that match your search term
  • Photos shows top images related to your search term
  • Videos shows top videos related to your search term

In addition to these coarse filters, there are two more search filters in the top right corner:

  • People controls if you see results "from anyone" on Twitter or lets you limit the results to only "people you follow"
  • Location controls if you see results from "anywhere" on the world or lets you limit the results to locations "near you"

And finally, there're more options available behind the "..." right next to the search box on the results page. There you'll find the following "search settings":

  • Hide sensitive content enables you to filter for sensitive content like nudity or violence
  • Remove blocked and muted accounts enables you to filter out results from accounts you have actively blocked or muted

Conclusion

Searching with Twitter is really easy. A major way of using the search function on Twitter is through the search bar on Twitter's website. Like any other web search engine, it pulls from a wide range of sources and should provide a comprehensive answer.

Twitter search is a remarkable tool that allows you to find out what’s being said about organizations, topics, specific people, and more across the Twitter network. By now, hopefully, you’ll be able to find just about any information you want to know on Twitter, with a little help from the search box.

And if you want to dig deeper, have a look at advanced search.

Back to blog