Twitter is certainly one of the most amazing public resources out there. This social media platform has been able to grow from out from its small micro-blogging niche into one of the biggest social networks. Besides the fact that it’s one of the most popular social networks, this platform has a unique purpose with its users, as most of them see Twitter as a worldwide news channel. This guide is designed to explain the fundamental values of Twitter and basic commands and features you can use for achieving certain results.
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Anybody can create a Twitter profile and use it, and it seems like everybody has already done this. One of the most basic and simplest traits of Twitter is that it allows users to “Tweet” or post updates that can include links, and more importantly, text lines. These text lines have one very important rule – they cannot have more than 140 characters and this includes spaces. These text lines allow users to say something meaningful, and this has slowly turned into art. Depending on the people you start following on your Twitter profile, your news feed will get filled with either news, pictures, links, jokes, and in most cases, arguments.
Twitter is a place that breeds many different things, including all of these mentioned above, and there are a lot of people with different motives on the network. However, if you go past this basic idea of Twitter, things start to get more complex and suddenly it doesn’t seem all that simple.
The people from Twitter have announced that they are planning to give users more room to say what they want in a single Tweet by not including URLs and photos into the 140 character counter. This is why I’ve decided to explain all the basics that matter and check out the features that can help you use this social media platform to the best of your ability.
Essential rules of Twitter
Like I mentioned before, your Tweets are messages that are limited to 140 characters. It is possible to Tweet as often as you want without any limitations. All the people that follow you on Twitter will see your Tweets in their timelines. Each user’s timeline will display all the Tweets from the people he or she follows in a chronological order. A Tweet that was posted first will appear first, it’s as simple as that.
It is possible to follow as many people as you like and you are not limited to a minimum nor a maximum number of people you can follow. Unlike Facebook, an account can be owned by and represent anyone, no matter if it’s a personal account of an individual or if it is a profile that represents a certain business organization. In a way, everything is mixed on Twitter, especially if you follow a lot of different people who have different interests and motives for being on this network.
This means that your meme Tweets could easily appear next to some corporate news on somebody’s timeline if that person follows both you and an industry influencer. Similar to looking through some online software reviews, you can also arrange Twitter to get news in a certain niche that is important to you, and see people’s thoughts on a certain topic.
It is important to remember that all of your Tweets are public and that anyone can see them; if a certain person doesn’t follow you, he or she can easily check your profile and see what you like to Tweet about. On the other hand, there is an additional feature that allows you “block” your Tweets to people who don’t follow you and approve followers as you wish. In general, this is against the essential ideas of Twitter, but they gave people this option, so if someone wants to they can do this.
Twitter hashtags #
A hashtag on Twitter represents a way to mark your important and relevant phrases or words with a hashtag #. The hashtag goes in front of the word or phrase and for it to work it is important that you don’t use space. For example if you want to use hashtag for advertising your “cheap artwork” you should write something like #cheapartwork, without any spaces between words or the hashtag and a word.
So what is the point of hashtags? Simply put, when somebody else uses the same tag, those Tweets get sectioned in a special directory that you can browse by clicking the hashtagged word and see all the same tags that people from all around the world have used. If some hashtag gets used often in a short period of time it will become trending on Twitter.
When you use hashtag tweets, usually you won’t get any replies. However, using typical @ tags is the best way to start a conversation with someone on Twitter or get involved in some popular discussion with other twitter users who you don’t follow, and who don’t follow you. A good way to let people know you tweeted them is to tag them with @ tags in your posts. This is usually done when you don’t want to send people direct messages or simply want to focus their attention on something they might find interesting or valuable to them.
Retweeting, replying and liking
It is possible to reply to tweets directly, however, there are no “email rules” here and people won’t necessarily reply. It is also possible to retweet other people’s tweets with a single button and all of your followers will see your retweet like a regular tweet. This feature allows you to spread relevant news without the need for drafting a complete tweet on your own.
Yet another interaction that is possible with tweets is to like one by clicking the heart bellow each tweet. The heart is located next to the reply and retweet buttons. There are also three small dots that may seem simply cosmetic, however, if you click on them they will give you more options on how you can interact with a certain tweet.
I don’t want to come off as if I’m telling you how you should do things on your twitter. The best way is to discover things on your own and learn by doing. However, knowing certain basics is quite important for beginners, so I’ll keep it short. A tweet can focus on anything, it is similar to a status update on Facebook.
When you log into your Twitter account you will simply have to click on the Tweet icon and a composition box will pop out. In this box you type in your text and add gifs, images, polls, locations etc.
When you add an image to your tweet the number of characters you can use will be restricted and lowered. The number of characters left will be displayed close to the tweet button. When tweeting images via computer you will need to find the wanted image online, download it to your computer and then click on the icon that resembles a camera to find it on your hard drive and upload it to your tweet.
Adding a location to your tweets
The “add location” option is a useful tool when you are at a certain place and you want to share your thoughts about it. For example, if you want to tweet a picture of the Statue of Liberty when visiting New York. In case you are tweeting directly from your phone when visiting a certain place, the GPS in your device will most likely recognize your location and you can choose the location’s pin icon.
An interesting or funny GIF can be added similarly to an image. Additionally, twitter will provide you with a library of multiple most popular GIFs at the moment that you can use. Simply click on the GIF feature next to the location icon.
Starting a twitter poll
It is possible to tweet poll questions your followers can see. This feature is most popular with big companies or important personalities that have many followers. However, if you feel like it, why not do one yourself and find out the benefits of twitter polls! Just click on the poll button, insert the question you want to ask people and then give them at least 2 options for answers or the maximum number of 4. The length of the poll can be set from 5 minutes length and up to a week. When you open up the tweet window simply click on the 4th icon to add a poll.
These are the most basic and essential things you need to know about twitter. Like I said before, I didn’t do any research when I opened my first twitter profile and it took me a while to get acquainted with the whole network. The important thing is to experiment and find unique uses for the platform; you can connect with interesting people and establish important relationships that can help you in any aspect of your life.