How to search your friends’ tweets

Overwhelmed by the randomness of your Twitter stream? Are there times you wish you could search within your Twitter stream? With a little setup, you can!

I was curious how many times the people I follow on twitter use the word “fun” in their tweets. You can search twitter for the word “fun”, but that search will look through ALL of Twitter. We want to search only the people you follow. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t have an advanced search function to limit your search to only the people you follow.

But Twitter does have a search function that allows you to limit your search within a list. What you’ll need to do is add all your friends to one list. That might sound like a crazy task, but it’s possible. I follow 949 people with my @mattmaldre account, and I was able to add them to one list pretty easily using

Here’s is how to search within your friends’ tweets:

1) Create your Twitter list
This list will house all the people on your list, so you can make it either private or public. I made mine public, just for fun. Many people get a notification when they are added to a list, so make sure you name your list something complimentary. I called mine “Fun people”. I tell you what, people LOVE being added to a list called “fun people” Here’s a list of responses I got:

thehotiron's reaction to Twitter fun people list

lili_czarina's reaction to Twitter fun people list

shanna's reaction to Twitter fun people list

colinsaburo's reaction to Twitter fun people list

sarahbrooks717's reaction to Twitter fun people list

Ok, so make your Twitter list to contain all your people.

2) Add the people to your list using twitlistmanager
Then head over to and start adding them all to your list. You do have to click the checkmark for each person, but that’s a lot better than having to click through menus and load pages.

3) Create the search in Tweetdeck
Once you have everyone added to your Twitter list, then head over to Tweetdeck and add a new column. Use the “search” column type.

Tweetdeck search column

4) Fine-tune your search to include your new list
Use the following parameters in your Tweetdeck search:

settings for Tweetdeck fun people search

Under the content section use the following:
Showing: all Tweets
Matching: fun
Written in: English
retweets: excluded

You can leave the Location, Engagement, Alerts, and Previews sections alone.

Under the “Users” section select:
By: members of list…
Then type in: yourusername/yourlistname
For instance, mine is mattmaldre/fun-people

5) Enjoy
Here’s what my Tweetdeck column looks like:
Tweetdeck search column for "fun" limited by a twitter list

6) Optional: expand your search a bit

With my 949 friends, there are about 15 tweets a day. To help expand this a bit, I included some other words related to fun: amusing, enjoyable, entertaining, lively, pleasant, boisterous, convivial, diverting, merry, witty.

You can do this under the “content” section where you have the word “fun” listed. Just use some boolean logic. Here’s the string to include in that field:
fun OR amusing OR enjoyable OR entertaining OR lively OR pleasant OR boisterous OR convivial OR diverting OR merry OR witty

More settings for Tweetdeck fun people search column

Have fun!

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