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What is Twitter?

What is Twitter? Twitter is an online social networking site, where you can send short, to the point “tweets”. When I say short, I mean your tweets are restricted to 140 characters*, which, when you think about it, is not a lot. Already, this blog contains 257 characters, including spaces. Tweets tend to be short and to the point, which is what I’ll try and do with this blog.

Twitter is very fast paced in comparison to other social networking sites, where users send regular tweets. Tweets can include photos and videos, which aren’t included in the character limit, or links, which are shortened to 23 characters. So if you were worried about including media in your tweets and running out of space, there is a weight off your shoulders.

When you create a Twitter account, you will be given a username, or “handle”, which will always begin with an ‘@’ symbol. With this, you can mention other users by tagging them in your tweet, just start with the @, and type in their username. If your account is public, users can see what you’re tweeting by looking at your profile without following you. If your account is private, they must request to follow you before they can see your profile and tweets.

When a user follows you on Twitter, you can choose whether or not to follow them back. If you choose to follow someone, their Tweets will show up on your timeline which you can interact with. Likewise, when someone follows you, your tweets will show up on their timeline. When someone follows you, your tweets will appear on their timeline, and they can Retweet and Like your tweets.

A Retweet is sharing a Tweet by another user with your followers, and you can also comment using “Quote Tweet” option instead. When someone Likes your tweet, it doesn’t show on their timeline, it’s just them saying “Yeah, I like this Tweet.” Although it doesn’t show on their timeline, you are able to see a user’s Liked tweets. Click onto their profile, and then click on the Like tab, which will show you their Liked tweets.

When you tweet, you can also include something called a “Hashtag”, identified by the ‘#’ symbol. Hashtags are similar to groups, and if you search a specific tag, you can see all the Tweets that include the hashtag. You can hashtag any word or phrase, but you cannot include spaces or punctuation in them. #RulesOfHashtagging. Twitter recommend using 2 hashtags per tweet, but you can use as many as you want within the character limit.

To conclude, Twitter is a short and fast social networking site, and is a way to interact with millions of users around the world. It’s an excellent way to find information by a Hashtag search, and you can follow anyone from your best friend to your favourite celebrity.

*For a little piece of mind on the character limit, every sentence in this blog is under 140 characters, including this one!

By: Olivia Attwood