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Twitter is the second largest social networking platform, and according to statistics, it is growing at a startling rate of 11 accounts per second! Are you still in the dark as far as Twitter is concerned? Don’t be alarmed, I will hold your hand and take you through the foundation phase of twitter-know-how…
Just like any other social networking platform, you first have to create an account, and once this is done, you are set to go! To make you comfortable and ease you into Twitterville, let me introduce you to the terminology most commonly used on Twitter:
@ – the @ sign is used to “call out” usernames in tweets. When a username is preceded by the @ sign, it becomes a link to that person’s Twitter profile.
Profile – a Twitter page displaying information about a user, as well as all the tweets they have posted from their account.
Avatar – the personal image uploaded to your Twitter profile.
Handle – a user’s “Twitter handle” is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL. This username is used to identify you on Twitter for replies and mentions.
Timeline – shortened to “TL” is a real-time list of tweets on Twitter.
Tweet (verb) – tweet, tweeting, tweeted. The act of posting a message on Twitter is called a “tweet”.
Tweet (noun) – a message posted via Twitter containing 140 characters or fewer.
RT – abbreviated version of “retweet”
Retweet (verb) – to retweet, retweeting, retweeted. The act of forwarding another user’s tweet so that it is shared with and read by your followers.
Retweet (noun) – a tweet by another user, forwarded to you by someone you follow. Often used to spread news or share valuable findings on twitter
Reply – a tweet posted in reply to another user’s message, usually posted by clicking the “reply” button next to their tweet in your timeline and always begins with @username.
Mention – mentioning another user in your tweet by including the @ sign, followed directly by their username, is called a “mention”. It also refers to tweets in which your username was included.
Direct Message – also called a DM, and recently simply called a “message,” is a private tweet between the sender and a recipient.
Favourite – add a tweet to your list of favourites by clicking the yellow star next to the message.
FF – #FF stands for “Follow Friday”, and Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF.
Follow – to follow someone on Twitter is to subscribe to their tweets or updates on the site.
Follower – a follower is another Twitter user who has followed you.
Following – your following number reflects the quantity of other Twitter users you have chosen to follow on the site.
Unfollow – to cease following another Twitter user.
Hashtag – the # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users.
Promoted Tweets – tweets that selected businesses have paid to promote at the top of search results on Twitter.
Protected/Private Accounts – Twitter accounts are public by default. By choosing to protect your account, you ensure that your tweets will only be seen by approved followers and will not appear in a search.
Verification – a process whereby a user’s Twitter account is stamped to show that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s tweets. This is sometimes used for accounts which experience identity confusion on Twitter.
Familiarising yourself with the Twitterville vocab will ensure that you don’t wander around and find yourself overwhelmed by all the chirping! However, before you go out there and start following other birdies, here is some Twitter-quette to keep in mind:
- Do not mislead, confuse or deceive your followers by impersonating others.
- Respect the privacy of others. Do not post other people’s private and confidential information without their authorisation.
- Do not post or direct threats against others.
- Twitter may not be used for unlawful purposes.
- You may not use a Verified Account badge or Promoted Products badge unless it is provided by Twitter.
- Remember that whatever you say on Twitter will forever be embedded on the cyber files and can never be removed.
Are you feeling confident and ready to start sending those tweets and building your own contingent of followers? I’m sure you are, now that the foundation’s been laid and you’ve got a handle on twitter (pun intended).
Spread your wings and soar with all the other birdies and… “tweet, tweet, tweet”!