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October 25, 2012 / carlispina

Search Twitter History With SnapBird

Searching for tweets on Twitter can be difficult, even after Twitter improved its search features over the summer. Several services have emerged to try to fill the gap. One such tool is SnapBird, which allows users to construct several different searches of Twitter content.

SnapBird is a very versatile Twitter search tool. Once you connect SnapBird with your Twitter account, you can use it to search for terms in your own Twitter tweets, your friends’ tweets, direct messages to or from you or tweets that mention you. But, beyond this, SnapBird can also be used to search any user’s timeline or favorites, which makes it more versatile than many tools that focus on searching only your own Twitter activity. SnapBird also sets itself apart based on the number of tweets that it can sift through in a short period of time. As soon as you run a search, SnapBird will return results for the most recent 200 tweets. You can then opt to continue searching more tweets in 200 tweet increments. A box at the right side of the screen shows statistics on how many tweets have been searched at any given time, as well as how many have been returned and the date of the oldest tweet included in the search to give a sense of how far back SnapBird has reached. All of the information is presented in an easy-to-read format that looks similar to the display of Twitter itself. You can also generate a Permalink to refer back to the search in the future or to share the information. SnapBird’s creator has also shared the code for this site on GitHub, so if this application sounds like it has interesting functionality that you would like to use, you can fork it easily.

I found SnapBird to be a great way to search through Twitter’s history. It brought back the types of tweets I was looking for with each of my searches. I like the way that it displays the results and allows you to share or save the information with a unique URL. If you are looking for a way to search through a large number of tweets extending back over several weeks or even longer, SnapBird is worth a try.



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