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Using Tweetbot Searches to Replace RSS

Sean Korzdorfer shares a Tweetbot tip that I didn’t know about: you can construct complex searches with boolean operators and filters and launch them with a URL scheme, both on OS X and iOS. And not just regular searches – you can apply a query to look for specific keywords inside a Tweetbot search.

Basically, Sean is using Tweetbot searches to replace RSS feeds. By saving searches that filter out RTs, mentions, and tweets in foreign languages, he receives a stream of tweets containing links from a specific set of users. Sean has turned his searches into Alfred workflows for Tweetbot on the Mac, and I thought I could do the same on iOS.

Sure enough, here’s a Launch Center Pro action to launch a Tweetbot search for links (no RTs, no mentions) from users I care about:


And here it is decoded for reading purposes:

tweetbot:///search?query=from:macrumors OR from:verge OR from:daringfireball OR from:polygonall OR from:kotaku OR from:macdrifter_feed OR from:reneritchie OR from:mattalexand OR from:nateboateng OR from:dujkan OR from:markgurman OR from:panzer filter:links -filter:mentions -filter:retweets lang:en [prompt]

The URL action ends with a [prompt] for Launch Center Pro, but that can also be a [[draft]] for Drafts. You’re not forced to launch the search URL with a keyword – if you don’t enter anything in the prompt, Tweetbot will display all links from the search (which is why you probably don’t want to use Drafts for this, as it can’t launch an action from an empty draft). Also, you can see that the first portion of the URL isn’t percent-encoded, but the one after the query parameter is. For this, Launch Center Pro’s encode/decode actions can come in handy.

I am subscribed to a series of Twitter lists to discover interesting links on a daily basis, but these complex searches have the advantage of filtering out RTs and mentions, providing a cleaner, links-only experience.