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CrowdTangle Search FAQ

Get your questions answered about CrowdTangle Search.

Written by Tess
Updated over a week ago

Important Update to CrowdTangle | March 2024: CrowdTangle will no longer be available after August 14, 2024. Please see our FAQ for more information.

Update July 2023:

1. Twitter announced the deprecation of their API to certain access tiers, which resulted in CrowdTangle losing access and the ability to serve Twitter data. You can find more information here.

2. Reddit announced changes to their API, which resulted in CrowdTangle losing access and the ability to serve Reddit data. You can find more information here and here.

CrowdTangle Search makes it easier than ever to search across social media. Use this tool to search for keywords and URLs, and get greater insight into how certain topics and events are being discussed across Facebook and Instagram. Learn more below.

How it Works

CrowdTangle Search is a tool that makes it easier to search for content across social media. And for the first time, search results will include image, in what we’re calling Meme Search. 

Simply put in a keyword, hashtag, or URL into the search bar, and get the latest posts from across Facebook, Instagram. Modify filters to sort by country, language, post type, timeframe, and more. 

You can go directly to this link: You can also find it at the top of your dashboard. 

How should I use it?

It’s easy!

  • Plug in a keyword, hashtag, or URL into the search bar

  • Filter your posts by platform, timeframe, country, post type, and more.

  • Sort by most interactions, most comments, most shares, Overperforming, Underperforming, newest, oldest. 

Some search examples:

All of these words: taco pizza bread

Any of these words: taco, pizza, bread

Exact word or phrase: "i love pizza"

Exclude words or phrases: -"i love pizza", -rat

Group multiple keywords: (taco, pizza) AND (love)

Mentions only: @pizzasauce

Hashtag only: #pizzaparty

Use boolean search*: AND, OR, NOT 

*use uppercase only for boolean search. 

What are some use cases for this tool?

CrowdTangle Search is an easy and accessible way to search across public content on social platforms. Some use cases include:

  • See the most Overperforming posts within the last 24 hours based on a keyword.

  • Filter to discover the videos with the most interactions on Facebook over the last week.

  • Search within text on images to identify popular memes.

  • Discover which posts from a specific account are the most popular from the last month.

  • Look at the top graphs to see how a keyword has trended over time. 

  • Search for a URL and identify who has been sharing that link.

  • Discover which posts are getting the most interactions around certain topics.

  • See what public content based on language is resonating. 

  • Look into how certain content performed throughout a custom timeframe. 

  • Find out the most popular posts coming from Pages with admins primarily located in a certain country.

  • Hover over a post to see Page Transparency data such as the location of admins of the Page and when the Page was created. 

Is CrowdTangle Search available to non-CrowdTangle users?

Currently this new search tool is only available to organizations with a CrowdTangle account. However, anyone in your organization can access Search, and they can access it without setting up a dashboard. 

To invite people within your org go to the upper right corner of search, click on the settings icon, and select 'Invite User.'

Can I do a boolean search (as in using ‘and’ ‘or’ statements)? 

Yes, simply adding a space between keywords will act as an “and” statement, commas will create an “or” statement. Advanced search details are available in the tool itself to make this easier.

How are the results ordered?

The posts are sorted from left to right on keyword searches, but vertically on link searches. The default keyword search setting shows the highest Overperforming posts across Facebook over the last 30 days but you can change your filters to look across other platforms, timeframes, and metrics.

Discover Top Posts

What is ‘discover top posts’?

‘Discover top posts’ is a feature within Search that makes it easy to get a broad view of what’s resonating across Facebook, Instagram without inputting a keyword or url.

Modify your filters in Search and discover what content in our database has the most interactions, shares, or comments across countries, platforms, languages and more.

How do I use it?

  1. Open CrowdTangle Search

  2. Change your filters, but leave the search bar empty.

  3. Watch as results update automatically.

  4. That’s it!

What are some examples of what I can look up?

Use it to see at a very high level what content included in the CrowdTangle database has the most interactions. Or narrow your filters to get more specific. Discover things like:

What CrowdTangle Search Covers

What type of posts can I search for?

You can search across all posts, including images with text, that are non-ephemeral (i.e. not stories). That includes native videos, YouTube links, image posts, links, statuses, branded content, and more.

Can I search in other languages and non-English characters?

Yes, you can search in any language the platform you're searching across supports. That includes non-English characters.

What accounts am I searching across?

When you put a keyword, phrase or URL into the search bar, you'll be searching across all public social media accounts and Pages within the CrowdTangle database. CrowdTangle tracks the public content from influential verified Facebook profiles, Facebook Pages, Facebook Public Groups, public Instagram accounts. Any accounts, Pages, Groups, etc. that have privacy settings enabled or any type of gating (i.e. age-gating or geo-gating) cannot be searched. You can read more about what data CrowdTangle tracks here.

What data and post types are not included in this search?

This does not search through any private content, demographic information, messages, or private accounts. It doesn’t include any content that the account has restricted by age or country. It also does not include Facebook/Instagram stories, or ads. Read more about what data CrowdTangle doesn’t track. 

Within the post itself, what does the tool search?

A search will scan the text/caption of the post, the shared url title and description (i.e. shared articles or youtube videos), the URL, and any text within images (including memes). It will also search the image preview for videos on Instagram, but not Facebook.  

What languages can I search within images text?

The following languages are supported for image text search:






























Simplified Chinese







Traditional Chinese




Anything! You can add names, phrases, hashtags, URLs. You can also search in any language supported on Facebook. A URL search will show you all the posts that have shared that link.

Why don't you show stories in the search results?

Since stories are ephemeral and are not public after 24 hours, we're unable to display them. 

Can I search emojis?

Right now you aren’t able to search for emojis 😔.

Can I search for posts that have been deleted?

No. Because deleted posts are no longer publicly available, we are unable to surface them. 

Does this search across Facebook Groups?

Yes, you can search across posts within public Facebook Groups. Private groups are not available, however. 

Can I search URLs and Keywords together?

Yes, you can search both URLs and keywords at the same time within a boolean search. 

For Facebook, Instagram you can search bitly links and it will include results for the full URL.

Search Filters

What are different ways I can sort or filter post results?

You can sort results by: Most interactions, most shares, most comments, most video views, oldest, newest, Overperforming, and Underperforming. 

You can filter your results by:

  • Platform (Facebook, Instagram)

  • Account Type (Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Verified Facebook Profiles)

  • Post Type (Photos, Links, Native Videos, Youtube Videos, Facebook Lives, Albums, IGTV)

  • Timeframe 

  • Country

  • Language

  • Branded Content

  • Verified/Unverified Accounts

  • Lists 

  • Pages/Accounts

Can I search the text in memes?

Yes! If keywords you search for appear within a meme or text over an image, it should appear in the results. You can also choose to only search within images if you want. 

How does Meme Search work?

Facebook apps make content accessible to the visually impaired as altText on the image. We rely on Facebook's optical character recognition (OCR) technology to identify text in images. Keep in mind, it is possible that OCR doesn't pick up all text in every image, it is best effort/guess technology. 

How do we determine what country a Page is from?

The country of a Page is determined by the location of the admins of that Page. The country that hosts the most number of Page managers is determined to be the likely location of that Page.

If a Page has admins from multiple countries will the Page show up in country filters for all countries listed?

No, the Page will only appear within the top country listed. Each page is assigned to just one country. 

Can I get results from multiple platforms at once?

You can only view results from one platform at a time. You can easily switch between platforms though by selecting a different one on the right.

Can I refine results to search within a specific Page?

Yes. Select the 'Pages' or 'Accounts' filter and find the page you'd like to search within.

Likewise, on a post in your results, select the carrot in the upper right, then select 'limit to this page.' You can do this for multiple Pages at the same time, making you able to search within 10 Pages.

How do we determine the language?

We go by what Facebook has determined the language is. If there is no language identified we use a sample of posts, and make our best guess based on the text.  

How are video views calculated?

Video views are based on the views on that specific post, as opposed to total views across all shares. 

Your Dashboard and Search

How is CrowdTangle Search different from the Search functionality in dashboards?

CrowdTangle Search is an easier-to-use tool that combines the capabilities of search in your dashboard and link search, and adds new features and filters such as Meme Search. You can also for the first time see a high-level overview of how a topic has trended on Facebook over time.

Currently, you can only set up notifications within your dashboard. 

Can I search within one of my customized lists?

Yes, go to the Lists filter in search to find the lists in your dashboard.

What if I don’t have access to a dashboard, how do I make a list to Search through?

Only people with access to a dashboard can view custom lists. If you don’t have access to a dashboard you’ll still be able to search through our public Explore lists available to all users.

Leaderboards are available in your dashboard but not currently in Search. 

Currently, there is no way to save a search and bring into a dashboard, notification, or Live Display. However, you can copy/paste or bookmark the URL and be brought back to that exact search.   

Can I share the link to the CrowdTangle search surface with others in my organization?

Yes, the link can be used by anyone in your organization as long as they’ve already been invited to your organization’s dashboard.

It’s not currently possible to add a Page or account into the database from CrowdTangle Search.

Can I export the data into a .CSV like I can in my Dashboard?

Yes. You can download a .CSV at the post level or pull all the data from your results. For a .CSV of your results click on the download icon at the top right of your results. You can download it on an individual post by selecting the carrot at the top right of the post.

Can I weigh my results like I do in my dashboard?

You cannot currently weigh the results by interaction type. 

Troubleshooting + Miscellaneous

What do the graphs in my search results show?

The graph below the search bar shows how that search term has trended by total interactions or total posts over time, across all posts containing that term.

The one on the posts themselves display interactions per day since it was first posted. 

Yes! The graph will represent all the posts and interactions that include your exact search. 

Is there a way for me to report a post that I think should be taken down?

You can go to the post itself, click on ‘...’ in the upper right, and select “Find Support or Report Post.” 

Will this change how the API works?

This will not have any impact on the CrowdTangle API. 

I can't see a particular post in search but I can see it on Facebook. Why is that?

It's possible that the post is private or restricted to certain audiences or ages. Any post that isn't publicly available to all users will not appear within the search results. It’s also possible the post is from a Page that is small and has yet to be added to our database.  

Do you do inline translations?

We do not do inline translations within Search. But if you click to see the post on Facebook you can translate it there. 

Why is Public Referrals bigger than Facebook Activity when I do a link search?

When you search for a domain, you may notice the ‘Facebook Activity’ box returns different results from the Facebook section of ‘Public Referrals We’ve Seen.’ That’s because Facebook Activity only looks at mentions of the exact domain (i.e. Public Referrals tracks mentions/links to the exact domain in addition to all articles shared from that site. 

Is there a limit to how far back can I look for top posts?

There isn't a set limit to the timeframe you look up. However if you do a broad search of top posts over several years, it may be too large for the system, or it will take a long time to pull in all the results. If you try and search and it doesn't work, try again in a couple minutes. We’re working to improve it so you can pull any timeframe.

Why is it taking so long to load?

When searching broadly across platforms and timeframes it can take a while to load. If it doesn't work, try again in a couple of minutes.

Why do some filters get blocked when I modify my filters?

Certain filters don’t work when others are turned on. For instance, country filters don’t work when searching within Groups because while country information is available for Pages it isn’t for groups. Or for something like Meme Search it only works if you input a keyword to search against.

Didn't get your question answered? As always, you can reach out to

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