How to use Twitter
By Erik Braennstroem. Updated 1 year, 11 months ago. 627 unique views.
Twitter is one of the major social networking sites that have appeared over the last few years. It's a micro-blogging service, meaning anyone can share posts on the Internet though you are working with a limited amount of space. In Twitter's case this limit is 140 characters. The types of posts are incredibly varied and can be everything from what you had for breakfast, to an interesting news article you found, to company PR.
If you don't already have an account, go to , press Sign Up and follow the instructions. Once you are registered you can start posting messages, so called tweets.
The social part of Twitter is called following. By following other users you can easily see their updates directly on your account home page. To interact with other users you simply write their username prefixed by an @, along with your message. If the at character is at the absolute beginning of the post, only that person and people who follow both of you will see the message in their feed, otherwise it will be public.
In other words, the post "@erikbrannstrom You suck." will probably not be seen by most of your followers unless they also follow me or go to my page. If you instead write "I read an interesting article by @erikbrannstrom" everyone will see it on your feed.
Whenever you read an interesting, funny or otherwise noteworthy tweet you might want to share it with your followers. For these kind of events you would typically use retweeting. Before you would copy the tweet and put the letters RT at the beginning, but now there is a dedicated function for this below each tweet so you can simply press a link and be done with it.
As Twitter has grown, so has the multitude of helper tools. Among the most commonly used are so called URL shorteners. Since you are limited to 140 characters, posting a long link could easily eat up alot of important space. Instead you use a service such as bit.ly which turns the long URL into http://bit.ly/xxxxxx. In case you wish to see where such an obscure link will take you, there are services such as Untiny that will take care of that.
If you'd like to share a picture you need somewhere to upload it so you can post a link to it since Twitter doesn't support images. One of the most common tools for doing this is Twitpic where you easily sign in with your regular Twitter account.
If you'd like to make your account page a bit better looking you can do it yourself in the Settings -> Design options, or you can get some help using an editor such as the one provided by Colourlovers, called themelon.
Finally, many people like to use a dedicated desktop or mobile application for integrating with Twitter. There are applications for pretty much every platform out there, but some of the most popular are: