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  • Having trouble understanding what the Twitter Search function is doing.

    I am trying to code a simple app that will search Twitter for a particular keyword and store the resulting tweets into an array, however, this is more of a general tweeter question:

    When I search in Twitter (on the actual website, on my page) my own username, I get three different results back:
    1) posts classified as 'Top'
    2) posts classified as 'All'
    3) posts classified as 'containing links' or smth...

    the 'Top' result has most of what I am looking for, but 'All' has only my first post I ever posted on my wall. on the same page it says:
    Older Tweet results for roise_r are unavailable.

    Loading Tweets seems to be taking a while.
    Twitter may be over capacity or experiencing a momentary hiccup. Try again or visit Twitter Status for more information.

    needless to say , when i use the searchOperations().search( "<keyword>" ); i get only the post that the 'All' result returns. First i though twitter was overloaded and decided to wait, but this has been going on for a couple a days. What's wrong with the search???

    P.S. just a quick side question:

    what is the difference between just a word, a word with #, and a word with @
    ex.: rainbow, #rainbow, @rainbow

    (I am new to twitter as you can tell. thanks)

  • #2
    Yes, Twitter's search API tends to produce different results than what you might find when searching on For example, if I search for "habuma" on, I get 2 results under Top, 1 under All, and 1 under With Links. Meanwhile, the same search through Twitter's search API ( gives me only 1 result...and only 1 result if I filter with links ( I haven't figured out how to get the search API to show me the same 2 results I get when serching on Twitter's site under Top.

    Per the search API's documentation (, the search API has some limitations, including that it can't find tweets more than about a week old and that it is focused on relevance and not completeness (some tweets may not show up).

    As for the differences you asked about...
    "rainbow" finds all tweets with that word in them (or in the user's name, it seems).
    "#rainbow" finds all tweets with that hashtag
    "@rainbow" finds all tweets that reference the user whose screen name is rainbow

    There are other search operators listed in the search API documentation.


    • #3
      thanks. so the twitter API was written by twitter devs and you included it in the spring-social framework?

      The search it says that in order for all my twitts to start appearing in searches, I need to be more relevant, meaning I need to post more about things that I have already posted, have a full bio in my profile and stuff like this.

      Follow-up question: I read somewhere that connections to twitter can stay open forever, but can't find it anymore. Is it true??