Find your old tweets

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

The Challenge

Do you sometimes remember that there’s an information you tweeted about in the past and now you want to refer to it but you cant remember how to go about getting the information? If you are like me that tweets links that contain important information, or you use twitter as some sort of read-it-later form of storage, then you sure would need a way to search for old tweets.

The Solution

Below are the tools that could help:

Good ol’ Twitter search

The heading says it’s just search, but, it’s actually Twitter Advanced search. With advanced search, you could search specific posts from specific people, to specific people. You can even search inside mentions, and retweets. And you can do all of these in any language.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well, yes it does, but there’s only one downside: It shows you only the “top” tweets (I wonder what criteria twitter uses to define which tweets are top and which are not). To view all tweets, you just have to scroll down and click on the “View all tweets” link. That, also, cannot show you every single tweet you have tweeted since twitter restricts the number of tweets visible at once. Try to keep scrolling and you get a message “You have reached the end of the tweets blah blah”.

Twitter Archive search

A better option is to search your twitter archive. But that means you have to download your whole twitter archive first, and if you were in a hurry, I’m not sure you would like this option. It’s better but more time consuming. To learn how to download your full twitter archive, check out Danny Sullivan’s blogpost


Image representing Topsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase offers twitter history search, but in my opinion, the whole interface easily got tiring to use and it looks like it doesn’t do any better than the default twitter history search. And it can only do a search for tweets later than May 2008. Correct me if i’m wrong though.


365.51 Snap Bird

365.51 Snap Bird (Photo credit: remysharp)

Here comes my favourite. Snapbird offers search that goes as far back as God-knows-when. It may not have the more advanced features of Topsy and Twitter Advanced search, but the fact that I can search for something someone said years ago without hassles is a big plus. You could also search your Direct Messages, but that would require authentication on twitter, and for someone like me that has a bias against third party apps, well, I won’t want to do authenticate every app that asks for my twitter credentials.




Well, what do you think? Do you prefer the twitter advanced search, archive search, or other third party apps like topsy and snapbird? Have your say in the comments section.


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