Not everyone thinks about using Twitter to do research. Under its simplistic appearance, the search engine of the social network is however much more complex than one might think.
If the first reflex of the users is to enter a few key words in the search engine of the platform, it is possible to optimize these requests by adding search operators, like those existing on Google. Thanks to them, the results obtained will be much more precise, and above all, much more relevant.
But before that, there are some technical aspects of the Twitter search engine to take into account. This does not, for example, take accents into account. Searching for a word with or without an accent does not change anything. Another specificity, it does not manage the masculine / feminine and singular / plural. If you are looking for terms that can change gender or number, you will need to write them in all possible spellings to include them in the results.
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Finally, searching for a word or phrase in the social network search engine will allow you to search for the tweets that include them, but also the user accounts mentioning them in their biography (under People tab).
Here are all the search operators essential to properly master the search engine of Twitter:
- "your research here" : Put a phrase or phrase search in quotes to display all the tweets using this exact group of words.
- GOLD and AND : use GOLD (or and AND (and) written in capital letters, to search for several different terms. You can combine them by putting each group in parentheses.
Example: (Tours OR Orleans) AND "best city" will display all tweets mentioning Tours or Orlans, and best city.
- – (minus sign) : add a minus sign followed by a word, or a hashtag, or a phrase in quotes to exclude them from search results.
- from: accountname : allows you to filter a search by displaying only the tweets published by a specific account. Can be combined with the sign to exclude a specific account from the results.
- to: @accountname : allows you to filter a search by displaying only the responses sent to a specific account.
- @account name : Use the name of a user's account directly in the search field to display all the tweets mentioning this account and published by it.
- Tweet url : directly paste the URL of a tweet in the search field to display all the Retweets of this tweet with a comment.
- Filter: follows : add this operator to your search to display only the tweets of the accounts to which you subscribe.
- Filter: verified : add this operator to your search to display only tweets from verified accounts.
- Exclude: verified : add this operator to your search to exclude verified accounts from the results.
- Filter: replies : add this operator to your search to display only tweets that replied to another tweet.
- Exclude: hashtags : allows you to exclude hashtags from your main search.
- filter: links / exclude: links : Displays only or excludes all messages integrating a media (website, image, video, etc.).
- filter: images / exclude: images : displays or excludes tweets including an image.
- filter: videos / exclude: videos : Only displays or excludes tweets including videos (Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
- filter: native_video / exclude: videos : Only displays or excludes tweets incorporating native Twitter videos.
- lang: fr : displays only the tweets in the chosen language (here French).
- since: aaaa-mm-dd: displays all tweets from date in year-month-day format.
- until: aaaa-mm-dd: displays all tweets up to date in year-month-day format.
- near: place : displays all golocaliss tweets published near a defined location.
- min_retweets: xxx: show all tweets that have been retweeted at least xxx times
- min_faves: xxx: displays all tweets that have obtained at least xxx likes.
- min_replies: xxx: display all tweets that have obtained at least xxx responses.
These search operators can be combined with each other and combined with your standard searches to obtain more relevant results.
With them, you can search for tweets that include multiple specific words, exact phrases, search for comments associated with a tweet, exclude certain terms or accounts from results, and much more.