The big news of the day is the fact that Twitter’s unveiling a significant redesign; you should see it on Twitter.com sometime in the next week. But my big Twitter revelation isn’t new at all. It’s Twitter’s awesome search operators.
To demonstrate the power of Twitter’s search operators, check out this search for tweets from Washington, D.C., on September 14 containing links and mentioning “Fenty.” I used four of Twitter’s most powerful search operators to construct that search:
- Location: Possibly the best search operator of them all. Adding “near:washington,dc” to my search filters the query to only include tweets from this city. You can also search near ZIP codes (e.g. “near:20001″), and you can specify how far from the location to pull in tweets from (e.g. “within:10mi”).
- Date: You’ll find that Twitter only pulls in a limited set of tweets for any search, not the full corpus. So if you’re looking for results from a particular time range, use the two operators “since:YYYY-MM-DD” and “until:YYYY-MM-DD” to filter it.
- Links: If you’re looking for links folks are sharing, as opposed to looking for tweets themselves, add “filter:links” to your query.
In the wake of a big local story, you can use these operators to quickly find the best tweets. Or you can configure your Twitter client to search for highly relevant local tweets on your topic. There are several other operators you might find helpful; check out the full list and try them out.