Twitter is a social networking website that has quickly grown into a commonplace and popular communications tool. It combines social networking as well as blogging to create a new and expressive outlet. Like Facebook, it offers people the opportunity to connect with friends and family or simply express their feelings and opinions with the click of a button.
Twitter messages known, as “tweets” are similar to the format of a text message. Tweets allow for 140 characters to be displayed. They can be anything the tweeter wants them to be: thoughts, feelings, pictures, links, even a personal message to someone. Users are able to send other users tweets by mentioning the individual within the message. This is done by using the @ symbol before the person’s username, or through a direct message. A direct message (DM) is sent privately to the individual.
A username can be anything a person wants it to be, as long it doesn’t include any spaces, whether it is simply your name, or a witty spin-off of your name. For example, my Twitter username is @jjayyDEE. With my initials being J.D. it is my attempt at being cleaver. Emphasis on attempt.
Users that subscribe to other users are known as “followers” and the subscriber is known as “following.” This allows them to see a person’s tweets whether they are public or private, which can be changed in the privacy settings. When a person has their Twitter under a private setting, it makes it so no one can see what they tweet unless they follow that individual. Confused? Don’t worry, the layout of twitter makes it easy to catch on.
The homepage of a person’s Twitter contains all the messages the tweeps (twitter-peeps) that they follow have posted. Each tweet offers the opportunity to reply or Retweet (RT), unless of course the tweeter is private, in which case you cannot Retweet their post. A Retweet simply allows that message to be forwarded to all of your followers.
Hashtag is a commonly used symbol in the Twitter world. By putting the # symbol before a word, the tweet is then placed in a category along with other tweets with that hashtagged word, making it easier to search. Any word can be hashtagged, in most cases it is a relevant keyword that receives the added attention.
Twitter is not only for personal uses but is increasingly used for business. On many of the homepages or websites of different companies there will be the “t” symbol. When clicked it will bring you to their Twitter page. In many cases they offer posts about news that is occurring within that business from events to promotions. Twitter is a great and simple way to connect with people.
Celebrities are another big draw to Twitter. Many use this site as a way of staying in touch with their fans and followers. Through the verification program, users are able to ensure that the celebrity is indeed who they say they are.
Being an avid user of Twitter, I find it’s fun and interesting to be able to say whatever you are feeling or doing. Tweets don’t have to be formal or of any importance—pointless babble is often the name of the game—and I fully take part in this, with tweets like @jjayyDEE: 90s throwback on the radio at work #loveit, or @jjayyDEE: The Dalai Lama has a twitter!?
It’s aimless babble that I feel like the world…well the Twitter world might want to know.