Using standard search

Please note:

We launched a new version of the standard Search Tweets endpoint as part of Twitter API v2: Early Access. If you are currently using any of these endpoints, you can use our migration materials to start working with the newer endpoint.

To see all of Twitter's search endpoint offerings, please visit our search overview.

Integrating with standard search


One way to start testing searches for Tweets, is to first use the UI, and build a query there.  There is not complete parity or completeness between the web interface and the standard search API, but this can help to get started.

Using the operators below and the search/tweets API, you can iterate on the result by adding more specificity, or negations to get the desired results.  As you get a satisfactory result set, the URL loaded in the browser will contain the proper query syntax that can be reused in the API endpoint. 

Here’s an example:

  • We want to search for Tweets referencing TwitterDev, the word new and the word premium. First, we run the search on
  • Replace “” with “” and you will get:
  • Execute this URL to do the search in the API.  

Here's an example twurl command: twurl /1.1/search/tweets.json?q=twitterdev%20new%20premium

And the result:

	"statuses": [{
				"created_at": "Thu Feb 01 16:40:07 +0000 2018",
				"id": 959104084845453312,
				"id_str": "959104084845453312",
				"text": "RT @TwitterAPI: New year, new access for our developer community! \ud83c\udf89\n\nToday, we\u2019re launching our premium Search Tweets: Full-archive endpoin\u2026",
				"truncated": false,
				"entities": {
					"hashtags": [],
					"symbols": [],
					"user_mentions": [{
						"screen_name": "TwitterAPI",
						"name": "Twitter API",
						"id": 6253282,
						"id_str": "6253282",
						"indices": [3, 14]
					"urls": []
				"metadata": {
					"iso_language_code": "en",
					"result_type": "recent"
				"source": "\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/\" rel=\"nofollow\"\u003eTwitter Web Client\u003c\/a\u003e",
				"in_reply_to_status_id": null,
				"in_reply_to_status_id_str": null,
				"in_reply_to_user_id": null,
				"in_reply_to_user_id_str": null,
				"in_reply_to_screen_name": null,
				"user": {
					"id": 2244994945,
					"id_str": "2244994945",
					"name": "Twitter Dev",
					"screen_name": "TwitterDev",
					"location": "Internet",
					"description": "Your official source for Twitter Platform news, updates & events. Need technical help? Visit https:\/\/\/mGHnxZU8c1 \u2328\ufe0f #TapIntoTwitter",
					"url": "https:\/\/\/FGl7VOULyL",
					"entities": {


Important Practices

  • Ensure all parameters are properly URL encoded.
  • Limit your searches to 10 keywords and operators.
  • Queries can be limited due to complexity. If this happens, the Search API will respond with the error: {"error":"Sorry, your query is too complex. Please reduce complexity and try again."}.
  • The Search API is not a complete index of all Tweets, but instead an index of recent Tweets. The index includes between 6-9 days of Tweets.


Example searches:

When you are following an event that’s currently happening, you would be interested in search for recent Tweets using the event hashtag

You want recent Tweets that contain the hashtag #superbowl

Your search URL is:

twurl /1.1/search/tweets.json?q=%23superbowl&result_type=recent


When you want to know what Tweets are coming from a specific location, with a specific language:

You want: all recent Tweets in Portuguese, near Maracanã soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Your search URL is:,-43.230182,1km&lang=pt&result_type=recent

twurl /1.1/search/tweets.json?q=geocode=-22.912214,-43.230182,1km&lang=pt&result_type=recent


When you want the most popular tweets of a specific user using a hashtag:

You want: popular Tweets from @Cmdr_Hadfield mentioning the hashtag #nasa

Your search URL is:

twurl /1.1/search/tweets.json?q=from%3ACmdr_Hadfield%20%23nasa&result_type=popular


Standard search operators

The query can have operators that modify its behavior.  Below are examples that illustrate the available operators in standard search:

Operator Finds Tweets...
watching now containing both “watching” and “now”. This is the default operator.
“happy hour” containing the exact phrase “happy hour”.
love OR hate containing either “love” or “hate” (or both).
beer -root containing “beer” but not “root”.
#haiku containing the hashtag “haiku”.
from:interior sent from Twitter account “interior”.
list:NASA/astronauts-in-space-now sent from a Twitter account in the NASA list astronauts-in-space-now
to:NASA a Tweet authored in reply to Twitter account “NASA”.
@NASA mentioning Twitter account “NASA”.
politics filter:safe containing “politics” with Tweets marked as potentially sensitive removed.
puppy filter:media containing “puppy” and an image or video.
puppy -filter:retweets containing “puppy”, filtering out retweets
puppy filter:native_video containing “puppy” and an uploaded video, Amplify video, Periscope, or Vine.
puppy filter:periscope containing “puppy” and a Periscope video URL.
puppy filter:vine containing “puppy” and a Vine.
puppy filter:images containing “puppy” and links identified as photos, including third parties such as Instagram.
puppy filter:twimg containing “puppy” and a link representing one or more photos.
hilarious filter:links containing “hilarious” and linking to URL.
puppy url:amazon containing “puppy” and a URL with the word “amazon” anywhere within it.
superhero since:2015-12-21 containing “superhero” and sent since date “2015-12-21” (year-month-day).
puppy until:2015-12-21 containing “puppy” and sent before the date “2015-12-21”.
movie -scary :) containing “movie”, but not “scary”, and with a positive attitude.
flight :( containing “flight” and with a negative attitude.
traffic ? containing “traffic” and asking a question.

Please, make sure to URL encode these queries before making the request. There are several online tools to help you to do that, or you can search at and copy the encoded URL from the browser’s address bar. The table below shows some example mappings from search queries to URL encoded queries:

Search query URL encoded query
#haiku #poetry %23haiku+%23poetry
“happy hour” :) %22happy%20hour%22%20%3A%29

Note that the space character can be represented by “%20” or “+” sign.

Additional parameters

There is a set of additional parameters that allows a better control of the search results. The standard search API reference documentation has detailed information about the usage of the parameters, this section will only give a brief description of their capabilities:

  • Result Type: just like results, the result_type parameter selects whether the result set will be represented by recent or popular Tweets, or even a mix of both.
  • Geolocalization: the search operator “near” isn’t available in the API, but there is a more precise way to restrict your query by a given location using the geocode parameter specified with the template “latitude,longitude,radius”, for example, “37.781157,-122.398720,1mi”. When conducting geo searches, the search API will first attempt to find Tweets which have lat/long within the queried geocode, and in case of not having success, it will attempt to find Tweets created by users whose profile location can be reverse geocoded into a lat/long within the queried geocode, meaning that is possible to receive Tweets which do not include lat/long information.
  • Language: the lang parameter restricts Tweets to the given language.
  • Iterating in a result set: parameters such count, until, since_id, max_id control iteration through search results, since it could be a large set of Tweets. The Working with Timelines documentation is a rich and illustrative tutorial to learn how to use these parameters to achieve the best efficiency and reliability when processing result sets.