How to search for a Twitter user’s most liked (favorited) and/or retweeted tweets in your web browser

In today’s day and age, Twitter — and social media as a whole — literacy is increasingly turning from just an asset to a must; whether that is for better or for worse can be the subject of another article.

A common search that users may want to do is to find out what another user’s most popular tweets are. There are two main measures this can be captured by: likes and retweets.

How to do so is not immediately straightforward (and there’s a little bit of art to the science), so this article will serve as a quick reference.

Method 1: URL search

Put this into your browser’s URL address bar.

https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Anatgeo%20min_faves%3A10000&src=typed_query

Here, natgeo is the username, and 10000 is the number of the minimum amount of likes that tweets should have to show up in the search.

This is where the art comes in. You can then adjust that min_faves variable up or down depending on whether you want to get more results or narrow them down.

Put this into your browser’s URL address bar.

https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Anatgeo%20min_retweets%3A5000&src=typed_query

Again, natgeo is the username that you will to change for your purposes, and 5000 here means that all tweets that return in the search should have at least 5,000 retweets.

Method 2: Search operators within Twitter’s search

Method 1 implicitly builds the following search queries, but you can just remember the shorthand search queries to search within Twitter’s UI any time.

In Twitter’s search bar, enter this query.

from:natgeo min_faves:10000

You will get tweets by the @natgeo user with at least 10,000 likes (favorites).

Get most retweeted tweets

In Twitter’s search bar, enter this query.

from:natgeo min_retweets:5000

You will get tweets by the @natgeo user with at least 10,000 likes (favorites).

Limitations

In my testing, the tweets show up in what I can only describe as somewhat random order. I didn’t see a way of getting it to be sorted in ascending or descending order when it comes to likes and retweets.

Written code to sort after using the Twitter API to fetch the data is likely needed for this.

For accounts, you have to start with a number you think is generally in the right area, or you have to start with a relatively low number and just step up from there.

It’s possible that it’d take some additional time to verify if a tweet is truly the user’s most liked or retweeted tweet depending on how many tweets fall in a certain range.

In my testing, I found that while sometimes I found a tweet with, say, 51.6k likes, I would make my search query have a min_faves:50000 value, but the tweet wouldn’t show up in the results.

I wonder why that is — could it be that bots are excluded from the search’s way of counting? Could it be that the search just has a bug there? I had to settle for a much smaller min_faves number again to get the tweet with 51.6k likes to show up again.

Full-time software engineer since 2016. UCLA Computer Science B.S. with Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences minor, class of ‘16.

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