Twitter Tips: Finding Tweets by Date

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As I write, today Twitter is celebrating its third birthday, so you’ll have more than three years’ worth of tweets to search by the time you read this. That’s a decent chunk of time, but you’d never know it from the search results because they’re always sorted by when the tweets were sent, with the most recent appearing at the top of the list. That fits with Twitter’s relentless focus on “What’s happening now?” However, it often makes it hard to find the information you want.

For example, search Twitter for the word inauguration and you might get some tweets where people are still talking about U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration, but you won’t see the actual tweets sent that day because it’s too old. You could click the Older link that appears at the bottom of each page of search results, but I assume you have a life outside of Twitter.

The problem is that Inauguration Day was January 20, 2009, and with Twitter sorting search results chronologically, the tweets from that day are simply too far back. To fix that, you can specify the tweets dates you want to see in the search results. You can specify a start date and an end date.

Follow these steps to search for tweets by date using the Advanced Search page:

 1.  Click Advanced Search in any Twitter search page. The Advanced Search form appears.

 2.  In the Since this Date text box, type the start date. Use the format yyyy-mm-dd. You can also click the calendar icon and choose the date from the calendar that pops up.

 3.  In the Until this Date text box, type the end date.  Again, use the format yyyy-mm-dd, or click the calendar icon.

 4.  Enter your other search criteria, as needed.

 5.  Click Search.  Twitter displays a list of tweets that were sent within the specified distance of the location.

To perform date-based searches using the handy Search box, you need to familiarize yourself with two operators:

A- since:  Use this operator followed by a date in the yyyy-mm-dd format to specify the start date.
 B- until: Use this operator followed by a date in the yyyy-mm-dd format to specify the end date.

You can use each operator on its own to restrict the search result on one end only, or you can use them together to set a date range.


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