I remember when Twitter was the hottest new thing. Everyone saw it as the future. Our clients did.
I did too.
As I do now, I used Twitter often for my clients at the time before many professionals realized that the internet is “forever”.
“Forever” is an important word for public relations
You and your client’s reputations depend on your successful track record. The perception of brands, products, and people can be made or broken by an old issue that bubbles to the surface. That’s why it’s so important to make it a priority to understand how old tweets affect you or your client’s Twitter accounts.
Moreso than just reviewing your own tweets for PR gaffes, maybe you’ve been interested in analyzing the Twitter data for one or more other accounts to see how their old tweets apply to your idea. A recent example comes to mind
JP Morgan and Bank of America Dig Through Trump’s Old Tweets
Interestingly enough, this year JP Morgan launched a new “Volfefe Index” that mapped Donald Trump’s Tweets to see how they influenced the stock market. How did they do that? Well, they literally ran a search old tweets on Trump’s account and analyzed them for trading indicators.
One really interesting statistic that has come out of this results in the conclusion that the more Trump tweets, the worse the markets do:
“last week Bank of America found that since 2016, on days with more than 35 tweets (90th percentile) by President Trump, the market has seen seen negative returns (-9bp), whereas on days when Trump keeps it to less than 5 tweets (10th percentile), the market has posted positive returns (+5bp)”
All we can say is WOW.
This is real Twitter data that has real-world implications. We as marketers and PR experts all have access to the exact same Twitter data sets that any of these large companies use to get a better idea of the financial world.
With developments like this, Twitter is definitely showing its relevance in the data-driven analysis markets. There are multi-billion dollar companies using the Tweet history of influential people to determine how to trade. That is a big deal. So, Twitter is still a big deal!
How can you get similar results from your own analysis of a Twitter account?
Luckily, there are plenty of great methods you can use to search old tweets and in this guide, we’re going to show you how.
How to Search Old Tweets Infographicsearch-old-tweets-infographic
Search Old Tweets: The Primary Method
To determine the best way to search your old tweets and find historical twitter posts you first need to ask what information you have available. To see old tweets an account has ever sent, you can look at your timeline and scroll back, or you can use the little search bar at the top of Twitter and search from: username.
This will show you a list of all the tweets you have ever sent from that username:
As you can see, this isn’t as useful as it could be. What would make it more useful is adding other parameters that will help narrow down your search and learn how to search old tweets.
View old tweets by using Some of the top options:
Finding Old Tweets by Keyword
If you roughly know the tweet you’re looking for, you can pull one or two keywords from that tweet and use it to search. For example, if you want to find and understand how to see old tweets from your handle that contains the word “blogging” you could search from: username blogging (replacing “username” with your Twitter handle).
This will show you the tweets sent from your username that contain the word “blogging” in chronological order. You can try this combination with any keyword you like.
Just remember that Twitter search looks for all of the keywords in your search (it isn’t selective and able to find the closest match like a search engine would). This means that if you search from:twilert article about blogging it will only look for tweets from @Twilert that contain the words “article” “about” and “blogging”.
If in doubt, pick one keyword to begin with and slowly build up to using more than one to check if you will still get results.
You can also use exactly the same process to search by username + hashtag. For example, say you wanted to find tweets you had sent from that time you went to an event you could search from:username #eventhashtag to narrow down your search.
Finding Older Tweets by User: Add user to your historic tweet search
If you want to find a tweet you sent that mentioned another user, you can create the search from:username @handle
For example, by searching from:twilert @smexaminer we can see all of the tweets sent from our Twitter handle where we mentioned or replied to the user @smexaminer.
This is really useful if you want to find a customer service tweet, a complaint, or a conversation you had with another Twitter user. Outside of aged tweet sifting, you can start grabbing info about new tweets by setting up Twitter Alerts
Searcing Aged Tweets by timeframe to see tweets in a specific date range
To search old tweets by user or keyword is probably the fastest way to hunt down a specific tweet, but sometimes you may not have that information available. If you want to search your old tweets from a specific time period, you can add a timeframe.
By searching from:username since:yfyyy-mm-dd until:yyyy-mm-dd you can find tweets from a specific timeframe. Just replace the “yyyy” with the year, the “mm” with the month and the “dd” with the date.
For example, searching from:Twilert since:2013-01-01 until:2014-01-01 we can see all of our tweets sent 2013-2014 (yes they’re pretty plain!).
Find First Ever Tweet from an Account
If you want to the first tweet ever from an account, unfortunately, Twitter seems to have discontinued its “first tweet” old tweet finder. However, here’s 3 step a hack that can help:
1. Look on your Twitter bio to find out when an account first joined Twitter
Where it says “Joined November 2008” we can find out the month Twilert joined Twitter, in this case, November 2008.
2. Search around this date
Now enter the same timeframe search we showed above but change the date to the month you joined, for example from:Twilert since:2008-11-01 until:2008-12-01 will show tweets sent from 1st November – 1st December.
3. Arrange by “latest”
Click “latest” and scroll to the very bottom to find the first-ever tweet.
There you have it! Our very first tweet.
We hope this guide has been useful for helping you to dig deep into Twitter’s archive and find the important tweets from yesteryear! If you need any help finding another tweet from the search history you can for help and advice!
To start automating this process for your business, visit our Twitter Monitoring Tool now.
How to Search Old Tweets: A Few Things To Consider
Over the last decade, Twitter has managed to grow its platform to millions of people around the world. It doesn’t look like that growth is going to slow down anytime soon. With all those millions of people posting (usually multiple times per day) it means that there are billions upon billions of tweets.
These historical tweets that have been posted and are now lost to the depths of the internet, or are they?
What if there was a way that you could actually take a look back in time, at some of those old tweets that you thought were gone forever? The truth is, you can search old tweets and it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Why Learn How to Search Old Tweets?
The first question you may be wondering is: “just why you would want to search your old tweets in the first place?” What could be so special about them? Well, we will cover many of the things that could be special about the past conversations you’ve had.
First, they could be interesting to readjust on their own.
What were people posting about over a decade ago when Twitter was first created? Maybe you were one of the people on the platform and you want to know what you were posting about. Take into consideration the ability to create twitter alerts. In addition to that, understanding previous tweets and how they affect your twitter profile history is becoming an important part of brand management.
Maybe you’re looking for something that you or someone else posted a long time ago (or maybe not that long ago) that had importance to you. Historically, it might have been a quote that meant something to you. Maybe it was an image. Maybe it was just general posts that someone you know who’s no longer with you had made.
No matter what it was or what your specific reasoning, there are plenty of people who would love to be able to retrace their steps in the Twitter world. Some people like to know how to search old tweets as a way to see what was trending at specific times or to do research for their own websites.
Search your old tweets and understand how your Twitter posting history could affect your current business.
HINT: You may be at risk for some PR nightmares if you don’t solve your historical gaffes!https://t.co/KGi0NH5RXThttps://t.co/XTYtT7y3mZ#oldtweets #Embarrassing pic.twitter.com/sVVLZU0mQT
— Twilert (@Twilert) July 17, 2019
Maybe you’re looking for how people respond to a specific hashtag and how that response has changed over time. It could be that you’re looking for specific information about what your audience thinks. Particularly, how they think about one type of product or another unique idea they’re tweeting related to your business.
As a result, tweets have a way of following trends and top news, even throughout their own short history. All of this information can make it easier for you to improve your business in totally new ways.
The Truth About Deleting Old Tweets
You should know that deleting your tweets doesn’t necessarily mean that they are gone forever. There are always those out there who can restore things, even when you think they’re gone for good. Even more, if you use a hashtag in your tweet it’s likely to keep showing up under that hashtag if someone searches it. You can delete a tweet once you’ve posted it, but chances are it’s not going to actually be gone at all.
That means you need to be extremely careful when you think you’re deleting anything (and when you’re creating it in the first place). It also means if you’re looking for something that was previously deleted you still have a good chance of getting it.
If you’re even thinking about deleting something you might want to think about what it could mean in the future. If you’ve tweeted or retweeted things that could be considered offensive or controversial, especially when taken out of context you might want to remove them.
If it’s considered derogatory you may also want to look at deleting it. You’ve got to search old tweets first to find these issues. Keep in mind that things that you may think are funny or entertaining might not be that way for other people. That could mean trouble in the future.
Tweets that people don’t like or that convey the wrong message could get you in trouble. The trouble with friends and family, with your job, your school or even your entire community. In this day and age, tweets from a decade ago and other content from long ago have been resurfacing and they’re definitely causing problems for people.
Amazingly, this Wired writer even suggests pre-emptively deleting all old tweets to save future issues from occurring:
“There are practical reasons to delete your tweets. Increasingly, old tweets are being used as ammunition to get their owners fired or ruin their reputation by people with an ax to grind.”
Emily Dreyfuss, Wired
If someone decides to search old tweets you don’t want them to find something that you don’t believe in anymore or anything that they could be offended by. If you’re not careful about screening your tweets that could be exactly what happens at some point in the future.
Do it Yourself: Deleting My Old Twitter Posts
If you’re really determined to delete your old tweets there are a few steps that you can at least try. The first method is to do it all manually.
You would need to go into your Twitter account and then into the advanced search option. Subsequently, you will be doing a search old tweets query in order to find those Twitter posts you must delete. This is going to give you the opportunity to look at specific content based on the hashtags used, the language it’s written in, what words or phrases were and weren’t included and even who posted them or who they were posted to.
You want to put in your own handle in the ‘from these accounts’ box and then include any retweets of the post as well.
Once you get the results list from your “how to search old tweets” task above, you’ll be able to click the delete button for any or all of the content that comes up, whether it’s yours specifically or something another person retweeted from you.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to go through them one at a time, so if there are a lot of tweets you’ll be there for a while.
There isn’t an option for you to delete everything or even delete groups all at the same time. You’ll have to take care of things individually, so you don’t accidentally delete something that you wanted to keep.
Use the Software and Tools to Automate Twitter Activity
You want to get rid of a large number of tweets and you’re not really into the idea of going one-by-one. There are software systems that will help you with the deleting process. This makes it a whole lot easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.
As a result, you can then make sure that everything you’ve ever posted is removed. No more going one at a time and trying to select everything or even worrying about missing something. You won’t exclude it the wrong way or skip over one of the delete buttons while you were going.
TweetDeleter: A decent paid service if you need to review and remove your ancient tweets
This system lets you find the weathered tweets that you’re looking for, sort them and then click a single button to delete as many as you want. Now, you’re going to have somewhat of a limit here. You’re going to have a difficult time deleting more than 1000 tweets at a time (though it is possible).
TweetDeleter also has a free and paid version, so you might be a little more limited if you don’t want to pay for anything. Plus, you’re going to have to click the box next to each tweet you want to get rid of and then click to delete all when you’re ready. If you’re looking to search old tweets and delete them, this might be a great starting point.
TweetEraser (or, “how to delete my tweets for free”)
Here you’re going to have the option to filter out things based on the text that’s included, the date it was posted or hashtags that were used. Once you authorize your Twitter account through it all you need to do is make your search old tweets query within the tool. Then you select the checkbox next to each of the tweets that you want to get rid of and click to remove them.
How to Search Tweets By Date with TweetEraser
If you’re looking for anything older than about 3 years you could have a hard time getting it from here. However, you’ll still be able to get some of the more recent stuff. Plus, you can do a good share of it with the free version of the system. With TweetEraser, you should be able understand how to search tweets by date and then delete them within certain date ranges on their calendar
TwitWipe – Delete Your Entire Twitter History
If you really want to get rid of everything that you’ve ever posted to your Twitter account this is the way to do it. It’s a super simple service because all you need to do is log in, authorize it with your Twitter account and click to remove everything in your twitter history. That’s right. Delete all your tweets with one button.
Keep in mind that once you do this you’re not going to be able to get anything back. Your entire history is going to be gone. So you want to make sure you’re ready for a full reset before you jump in.
How to Look at Old Tweets The Only 2 Ways
So, if you’re wanting to know just how to look at old tweets what should you do? It’s actually not that difficult to search old tweets. You just need to have the right system to help you out and finding one you can count on is easier than you might think.
There are a number of different processes and systems that you can use, whether you’re looking to go through things the easy way or you’re looking to make it a little more specific. Once you know the direction you want to follow, you’ll be surprised just how much you can actually find and in what amount of time.
1. ) Keeping it Simple: The Manual Search
If you really want to keep things simple the easiest thing that you can do is search for yourself. Twitter gives you the option to search old tweets for specific people, mentions or hashtags. That means, if you’re searching for any of these, you can do it yourself and go through the results organically.
The main problem here is you’re not going to have the opportunity to specify different criteria. You can choose a few criteria to search and you’ll get all of the results that have ever been posted. In order to get to older content, you’ll have to scroll a very long way.
You’re going to have a lot of content that’s not really relevant or not important to you if you search this way. That means it’s going to be very time consuming and it’s going to be a waste in many respects because you’re going to have that irrelevant content.
You’ll have to at least scan through all of the tweets in order to know if it’s relevant and with all those years that Twitter has been around you’re definitely never going to get to the end by doing it this way. Luckily, there’s another option.
2. ) Find Exactly What You’re Looking For With Automation Tools
When it comes to finding exactly what you want without having to weed through all the extras you still have a great option. All you need is Twilert.com and one of their two products, which will allow you to search old tweets, new tweets and anything you want in order to find specific content, hashtags, mentions and more. Get Twitter Alerts in real-time, as they happen. You’ll never miss a brand mention, a tweet notification, and you can set it to watch anything that happens on Twitter.
What you want to do is go into the system and set up the specific content you want to watch for. It could be a term, hashtag or discussion and you can get up to 20 of them entirely free. That way, when someone mentions anything you’re watching you’ll get an alert.
Accordingly, you get the opportunity to respond or at least check out what it is that they’re saying. In this manner, you can get into the conversation and get your name, your business and your thoughts out there to other people. Not to mention responding and thanking those who are talking about you in positive ways.
As we all know, when you set up the system you also get to make all the rules. You get to decide what tags you want to receive notifications about, which keywords you want to exclude, specific locations you want to focus on and even specific languages.
All of these things make it super specific that our goal is to “search old tweets”. Whatever alert you set up, make sure that you’re not going to get content that’s actually totally irrelevant to you. After all, you don’t want to be bothered with emails for things that don’t pertain to you, right?
Wrapping up How to Find Old Tweets
There is a whole lot of benefit to searching through old tweets. You could find a whole lot of great information that you can turn into something positive for your business, website or blog. You might also learn how to find old tweets to see out people are talking about you in ways that you could (and should) be responding to.
Just take a few minutes to learn how to search old tweets and you might be surprised at what you find when you learn how to see old tweets. It is actually going to be easier, more fun and more effective than you might have thought. And all you need is the right system to help you along.
JPG Version of the Infographic: