How to Use Twitter Advanced Search Functions in TweetDeck

by David Nield

TweetDeck, the official Twitter client available as both a Web and desktop app, comes with a number of advanced search features to enable you to run precise queries on the platform. You can also apply a range of filters to each individual column. TweetDeck uses a live streaming structure, so new results appear as soon as they are published on Twitter.

Running a Search

Click inside the search box on the TweetDeck interface, type out your query and press "Enter" to see a preview of matching tweets. Use the Content and Users drop-down menus at the top of the results box to filter matches -- you can limit the results to tweets with images or links, include retweets in your search and exclude certain words as well. As well as searching across tweets from all the users on Twitter, you can restrict the results to a particular user or the people in one of your Twitter lists. Click the "Users" button to search for users rather than tweets.

Creating a Search Column

Select "Add Column" at the bottom of the search results window and TweetDeck creates a new column for you which displays matching tweets as they appear. If you've created a search with a lot of matches, this column will scroll at a very brisk pace. The same filters and options are still available -- click "Edit" at the top of the column to find them. Use the arrows to change the position of the column in the TweetDeck interface or the red trash icon to delete the column altogether.

Advanced Search Operators

The drop-down menus available at the top of every search column provide access to some of Twitter's advanced search functions, but you can also type these directly into the search box. Enter "love OR hate" to find tweets containing either "love" or "hate" for example, or type "to:tim" to search for all tweets send to Twitter user @tim. Other available operators include "near:" (for finding tweets geo-tagged near a certain location), "until:yyyy-mm-dd" (for finding tweets up to a particular date) and ":)" or ":(" for finding tweets with a positive or negative attitude.

Filters and Wildcards

The TweetDeck search box also allows you to use filters and wildcards in your searches. Add "filter:" to the end of a search followed by "images," "verified" (from verified accounts only), "news," "replies," "hashtag" or "links" to limit the results to a particular kind of content. Use the wildcard asterisk character to search for any word -- entering "feeling *" as a search query, for example, will return tweets matching "feeling fine," "feeling sore," "feeling happy" and any other type of feeling.

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

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