Twitter is everywhere! I receive tweets daily and have not understood the mechanics of Twitter, so it is time to take a deeper dive and LEARN. #embracethebows
Let’s start with a little background on Twitter. Twitter is a social networking platform which enables users to post and interact through short messages of 140 characters or less. Twitter is a great resource for keeping up with friends, participating in discussions, tracking the latest news, and sharing your experiences at live events.
You can set up an account for free at twitter.com. You can post updates on Twitter, along with photos and videos. You can also interact with others by “favoriting” a post to indicate that you like it, “retweeting” a post so that it’s broadcast to your followers or private messaging. Twitter is available for desktop computers and mobile devices. Below, I have posted some of the Twitter lingo:
- Tweet-a single update of 140 or fewer characters.
- Retweet-taking a tweet from one user and posting it yourself
- Trending topics-this shows a range of topics or subjects which many users across Twitter are talking about simultaneously. The top trending topics have been retweeted more than 150 times.
- Twitter handle-those short names that begin with the “@” symbol. You see them everywhere! I have adopted @embracethebows as my handle.
- Hashtags-terms that begin with the “#” symbol. Anything can be a hashtag! Hashtags group people who have a common interest and is a great way to organize/filter content. I have adopted #embracethebows as my hashtag and am hoping that all of you who have committed to personal growth will share your experiences along with the hashtag! It is a great way to network with others who share your interests.
So, what is the difference between a Twitter handle and a hashtag? An @ on Twitter leads to an actual person. A # is a search. So @-ing someone on Twitter is like picking up the phone and talking to someone. A # is like Googling. Does that make better sense? Probably not because it didn’t to me either. The more you use Twitter, the better you will understand.
If you’ve been curious as I was about how it all works, and are interested in jumping in yourself, take a look at this quick guide to get started.
Remember that technology is dynamic and some of these instructions may have changed. Once you start using the Twitter app, you will recognize when the company makes updates.
Sending a Tweet on Twitter
Ready to start sending tweets? After signing up with the service, you’ll see a box at the top right containing a feather. Click on the feather and a box will appear. This is where you type your message. You also have the option here to add a photo or video, share your location, insert a funny GIF from a selection provided by Twitter, or add a poll. Why would I want to add a poll you ask? Not sure which outfit to wear to a wedding? Post a picture and have your friends vote.
If you’d like to reference someone in your tweet, add their Twitter handle beginning with the “@” symbol. If you want to establish a keyword that others can use to add to the conversation, add a hashtag. Again, as an example… #embracethebows.
Reply to a Tweet
See a tweet you would like to reply to? Select the tweet you’re responding to. A pop-up box will suddenly appear. Type your Twitter reply message into the box and click “Reply” to send it. The handle(s) of the person (or people) that you are replying to will already be posted in the message box, ensuring that it will be directed to them when you hit the “Reply” button.
Read something funny or noteworthy that you’d like to retweet? Twitter makes it easy by providing an icon just for this purpose. Tap or click the icon second from the left under the tweet (the one with two arrows). A box will appear with the original post and space for you to enter an additional comment. Click on “Retweet” and the post will appear on your profile page with your comment attached to it. Easy!
Delete a Tweet
Send a tweet before it was done? Visit your profile page by clicking on your photo on the left side or at the top of your Twitter feed (on mobile there is an option called “Me” at the bottom). Tap or click on the tweet that you’d like to delete, and then tap or click on the three small dots that appear to the right under the tweet. This will expand a menu of additional features. Select “Delete Tweet” and follow the prompts.
Private Messaging on Twitter
Sometimes you want to have a discussion with someone privately on Twitter. This is possible, as long as you and the person that you want to message with following each other.
In order to follow someone, search for them on Twitter, and when you locate the correct person, visit their profile and click “Follow.” To message in private, click the “Messages” icon which appears on the top of the web version and at the bottom of the mobile app. Tap or click on the “New Message” icon at the top and you’ll be presented with an option to add the contact (or contacts — you can add more than one) that you want to message. Click or tap “Next” or “Done” and you’ll be presented with a box to type your message. This is the one exception to the 140-character limit rule — there is no character count for direct messages. Add a photo, video, or GIF by using the icons at the bottom. Click or tap “Send” to distribute your message.
To Tweet is Sweet
Twitter is yet another addiction that I have discovered. It may be better than chocolate. Happy Tweeting!