By now, we all know the power of Twitter and its users to send out information in real time. Sure, tweets are great and all, but what about the pictures? Fortunately, there are plenty of websites that allow anyone to search the Twitter universe for images.
Here are some of the best websites to search through Twitter images and do reverse image searches if necessary. Keep reading to learn more.
The obvious place to start is with Twitter’s native search engine. It becomes increasingly more powerful and granular with each passing year. Some people argue that it’s now so powerful that Twitter can be a reliable research tool.
To perform a simple image search using the Twitter web app, just enter your term in the search field in the upper-right corner. Once the results are visible, click on the Photos tab at the top of the page to filter out all the other content.
If you need a more precise search, use the Advanced Search feature. From the results page in the previous step, click on Advanced search in the top right three-dot menu.
In the new window, you can filter by words (exact phrases, any words in a list, exclude words, and hashtags), language, specific accounts, only replies, only original tweets, a minimum number of replies/likes/retweets, and dates.
TweetDeck used to be an independent third-party app, but Twitter bought the company back in 2011 and has since made it a feature-rich service for Twitter power users. Using the tool, you can create feeds of Twitter content in specific areas of interest. You can then set up those feeds so that they only display tweets with images.
To create a Twitter image feed on TweetDeck, you first need to connect the app with your Twitter account. Once that is done, you can either use your existing home feed, a list you have made, or create a new search entirely.
Click on the Add Column button in the left-hand pane to add a specific list, user, collection, trending list, feed of likes, and more. Alternatively, use the search icon to enter your term of interest. Once the feed is displayed in the main window, you need to set it up so that it only shows images.
Hit the filter icon in the top-right corner of the feed, then expand the Tweet content menu. From there, you need to select Tweets with images in the Showing dropdown menu. Tweak any other search parameters you require, then click on the filter icon a second time to collapse the menu and see your refined feed.
Naturally, Google is also a powerful tool when it comes to searching for images on Twitter. Using Google to perform your search has a few key benefits compared to the methods we have already looked at.
For example, you will not see repeated images, images will not be cropped, and you can use Google’s full list of search operators to refine your search.
An additional benefit is that, unlike Facebook, Twitter does not provide a way for users to de-index their accounts from Google’s search algorithms. As such, the list of results is going to be comprehensive.
To use Google to find Twitter images, you need to use the site operator. To do so, type site:twitter.com [search phrase] into the search bar and hit Enter. You can even narrow it down to a specific user by using their vanity URL instead.
From the results page, click on the Images tab to see all the matches. Remember, you can hit the text link below each image to go to the Twitter post containing the image.
There’s also a version of Google specifically designed to dig up social media content for you. You can refine the search by choosing an exact phrase, excluding terms, and using the OR operator.
The search results for your terms have Facebook as their default source, but all you have to do is click on the Twitter tab to reveal that platform’s content instead.
To generate a Twitter gallery viewer, just select Image, and Google will just provide the pictures in tweets using the terms you specified. Click on a photo to magnify it. If you select it again, you’ll land on the profile or post of the Twitter user.
Another option when it comes to Twitter media viewer websites is Social Searcher, one of the best search engines for social networks and their content. For a free Twitter image search, use the Mentions tab and type in the term you’re looking for. Social Searcher will scour all its available sources for matches.
You can sort through the collection it offers you by choosing a language, as well as clicking the Filters button, selecting Twitter and Photo from your options, and hitting Apply. Social Searcher will find relevant tweets with images, which you can click to jump to their posts on Twitter. The site’s tools and range of content improve if you create an account.
If a picture on your feed looks suspicious, or you just want to find others like it, try a reverse image search on the Twitter post by downloading or taking a screenshot of it and using it on a platform like Bing Visual Search, which also accepts image URLs.
What reverse image search services do is find media that resembles what you uploaded, whether it’s an exact match or contains the same elements. In Bing’s case, it will gather content from across the web, not just Twitter.
You’ll end up with three tabs full of content. All features the whole selection, while your other options are Pages with this image, which lists the websites where Bing found the images, and Related content, which shows you the actual pictures and some details.
From here, you can generate more results by clicking individual images, check out their sources, and even do a new Twitter image search through Bing.
Sadly, the clampdown on Twitter on third-party services and APIs over the last decade has meant that many former Twitter image search tools are no longer available. In truth, most people should stick to either the main Twitter app or TweetDeck. You only need to branch out if they do not provide the results you are looking for.