How to Search Twitter on Mobile

We’re going to go over Twitter’s search features that are specific to mobile apps. In our mobile Twitter search example, we’re using the latest version of Twitter’s app on an iPhone X.

WARNING The Biggest Problem With Twitter Search for Mobile

Before we start, I’m going to let you know: you can’t easily do any advanced searches on Twitter’s mobile phone app. After this walkthrough, we’ll show you how you can have advanced searches of all types sent to directly to your mobile device.

How to find the Search Icon on Twitter’s Mobile App

When you open the Twitter app for mobile, you will find the search option at the bottom of of the screen of your account. In the image below, you’ll notice the red text. The “magnifying glass” icon is the button you want to tap in order to open the mobile twitter search page.

Where is Twitter's Search on Mobile?
Where is Twitter’s Search on Mobile?

Skip Past Twitter’s Useless Mobile Search Trends Page

Twitter is clever. Before you can actually search Twitter for what you want on your mobile phone, you’re shown a landing page of curated search trends, news, and more.  This mobile trends page shows categories that seem more related to your Twitter activity (who you’re following, what you comment on) vs. what you’ve searched for. You’ll see categories for News, Sports, Fun, and Entertainment. Above those are the twitter search bar you’ve been looking for on your smartphone.

If you want to search Twitter quickly and efficiently, save your attention for your mobile search goals instead of clicking any of these links. I’ve labeled the actual twitter mobile search bar at the top of the Twitter Mobile Trends page here in red:

Twitter's Mobile Search Page
Twitter’s Mobile Search Page

Seeing Your Recent Searches Before You Can Search Twitter on The App

You’re going to have to wait ONE more step before you start seeing your own results from the twitter search app. Cleverly, when you tap the search area in the previous step, you are taken to a version of the mobile search page but instead of global trends, you’ll see a list of your previous searches in the app. Again, all you need to do now is to start typing as you type it will filter down your recent searches that only match what you’re typing.

Twitter mobile recent searches page
Twitter mobile recent searches page

Recommended and Results on Twitter Mobile Search

When you start typing your term, you’ll see recommendations pop into the screen based on your typings. These are the “popular” and quick results that Twitter shows you based on what it believes you are searching for. If you see what you like here, go ahead and click. However, we’re going to go a little deeper in the next step before we click anything listed here. Click the blue “Search” button on the bottom right of your screen to see more detailed results that you can filter through next:

mobile-twitter-search-recommended-results
Recommended results Twitter thinks you want on mobile

Now We’re Getting Our Twitter Search Details On Our Smart Phone

After you click “Search” in the previous step, you get to see your actual search results with options to filter by “Top”, “Latest”, “People”, “Photos”, “Videos”.

Of course, Twitter STILL wants to show you what they think you should see and the “Top” Option is selected, which showcases results that are curated by Twitter’s algorithm.

Twitter Mobile Search Options
Twitter Mobile Search Options

See Latest Tweets with Mobile Search for Twitter

Latest tweets on the mobile twitter search results page of the Twitter app will show you simply the newest tweets that contain your query. This is the traditional way tweets used to show up in feeds, so it can be refreshing to see non-curated timelines for a change. But that might be my own sense of nostalgia.

latest-tweets-search-twitter-mobile
Search Latest Tweets by Term on Twitter Mobile App

Twitter Mobile Search by User and People

Clicking the “People” tab on Twitter App’s search results will show you the individuals who are most highly associated with that term. I am not aware of the direct algorithm that drives the relevance of this association. Obviously Elon Musk is the #1 person associated with Tesla. For more arcane searches, you may find some surprising people associated with your mobile tweet search this way.

find-people-twitter-mobile-search-user
Find people on twitter’s mobile search

Photo Search on Twitter’s Mobile App

Yea you can also search for photos related to your twitter mobile search queries. Who wants photos over video though? Well, we can think of many cases in which photos may be preferable. Either way, the option is there for you when you click on the “Photos” tab in the Twitter mobile search results page.

search-photos-twitter-mobile
Search photos with Twitter’s Mobile Search

Find Videos with Mobile Search on Twitter App

All you need to do in order to see old tweets that have videos associated with them is to click the “Videos” tab inside twitter’s mobile search results page. I believe videos includes a few formats like .gifs, embedded youtube videos, and a few more.

find-videos-twitter-search-mobile
Search Twitter’s mobile app for videos

 

How to Refine Searches on Twitter’s Mobile App

The filters feature on Twitter’s App is not as powerful as the desktop/web application. As you see below, you can really only filter your search results by people, location, and quality. You can’t even filter by a specific location – only by your current location. How are you supposed to find recommendations in places you’re about to visit?

twitter-mobile-search-filters
Filter Twitter mobile search results

 

Conclusion

That’s it. Mobile Twitter search is evolving, but it is fairly limited compared to the advanced search capabilities you can perform with the web application. Using a tool like Twilert, one can get way more advanced and have the alerts programmatically come to them and be filtered extremely accurately, along with being geo-targeted.