Internet Social Media

Visible Tweets: Full-Screen, Animated Display Of Any Twitter Search

Justin Pot 25-07-2012

twitter search displayShow off any search on Twitter from your TV screen. Visible Tweets is a web app that offers large, crisp text, quick search and beautiful animations, and is perfect for displaying tweets from across the room. Maybe you want to show off tweets about your business, at your business. Maybe you want to passively keep up with a certain topic. Or maybe you just enjoy seeing live information in the comfort of your own home.


Whatever your reason for wanting to put Twitter onto the big screen, Visible Tweets is a great tool for the job. In my opinion this is particularly interesting for business owners, because feedback is displayed publicly in real-time. It points out to people that you’re active on Twitter, and gives customers a reason to interact with you. There are risks, sure – someone could tweet nasty things just to see them on a screen – but if you’re okay with that, this service is worth checking out.

Using Visual Tweets

Getting started couldn’t be easier. Just head over to VisibleTweets and search for something. If you want to see tweets about a particular subject, search for a hashtag. If you want to see tweets people are sending to a particular account, type that username. You get the idea.

twitter search display

Once you search, the animation begins immediately, showing all recent tweets that fall under your search. Here’s my search for “@makeuseof“, showing every mention of the site on Twitter:

display twitter search results


You can use this for many different things. A sports bar could use the hashtag of a particular team during a sporting event or a newstand could display searches for current events. Or you could just search for your business’ own Twitter account and show off the nice things people are saying about you (assuming people generally have nice things to say, of course).

If you’re not a business, this could be a passive way to keep up with a particular topic, especially if you have a dual-screen monitor setup.

These are just ideas; the fun is playing with it and seeing what uses you can come up with. Not satisfied with the search results you’re getting? You can fine-tune the search a great deal, using Twitter’s many operators. Here’s a screencap from Twitter itself outlining what they are:

display twitter search results


These search operators are by no means unique. Most also work in Google. But knowing them really allows you to fine-tune the results you get. Play around until you like what you see.


Of course, simply showing off tweets is cool but not quite enough. Where Visible Tweets really shines is the animations. There are three options:

twitter search display

You’ll have to play with the different animations to determine which you like best, but I’m a big fan of Rotation.



I’d like to thank the good folks at Full Circle Magazine in general and Charles McColm in particular. In Issue 62 he outlined how to transform an old computer into a Twitter display appliance using Visible Tweets and Ubuntu. With his instructions you can turn on a computer and quickly see nothing but tweets related to your search. download issue 62 of Full Circle if you’re interested.

Oh, and you can embed Visible Tweets in PowerPoint presentations, which makes for a great opening slide to show before you start speaking.

Do you know of a better tool for displaying tweets on a television? Let me know in the comments below, along with any uses you’ve found for this particular web app. I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Heather Pinson
    October 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Visible Tweets is a blast! There are situations, though, where you might need a more robust solution for displaying social media in public or at an event. A tool like Postano can aggregate stuff from multiple social media channels (Twitter/FB/Instagram/Flikr/RSS/etc.) and display it all together, and including visual content from Instagram is really nice. You can also moderate if you want to guard against the trolls :) Here's an article about displaying twitter at an event from their website: cheers!

  2. Charles McColm
    August 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the praise and acknowledgement of Full Circle Magazine and the link to my blog Justin. Full Circle Magazine really is a great resource for Ubuntu Linux users and it's wonderful that you and acknowledge the magazine. You've done a great job of pointing out the operators that can be used on Twitter and Visible Tweets.

    Thanks again and cheers!


    • Justin Pot
      August 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      I've been a Ubuntu user for 6 years, and recently started reading Full Circle regularly. I only linked to it because I think it's a great resource, and I only mentioned you because I thought you did a particularly good job with your article.

      Let me know if you ever want to write a manual for MakeUseOf: I'd love to work with you.

  3. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

    You're right Visible Tweet is suitable app for business owner but most people don't really need it. By the way, it's cool to see tweets on a television.