Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service which allows you to send "tweets" to the rest of the twitter world. Tweets are posts limited to 140 characters which can be about any subject you want to discuss. You can receive and send updates to and from Twitter using a short message service (text), RSS, Instant Messaging, email or through a third party application. Twitter itself is free to use but if you are using a cell phone you may be charged for the text by your phone provider. Twitter users must set up their cell phone for Twitter to work from it.http://support.twitter.com/entries/14014-twitter-phone-faqs
Although many people use Twitter exclusively to keep up-to-date with their friends some users sign up for other reasons. Many businesses and news sources now use Twitter. When a user signs up for business or news tweets, they can see what is happening in real time. Twitter says it is like receiving a newspaper with headlines that are interesting.http://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/215585-twitter-101-how-should-i-get-started-using-twitter Tweets about headlines or businesses may include a URL to a news story or a coupon from the business.
The Twitter service was created by Jack Dorsey in 2006.http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/how-to-use-twitter/ By June 2010, the micro-blogging site processed over 65 million tweets per day or 2 billion tweets per month.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/7812501/Twitter-hits-two-billion-tweets-a-month.html More than 300,000 people sign up for new Twitter accounts each day.http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/49970615-79/data-twitter-center-area.html.csp
What is Twitter?
One of the first steps in learning how to use Twitter is to learn what Twitter is. Chris Gore from Attack of the Show and G4 shares his knowledge on the social networking micro blogging site which can be accessed from your cell phone. Twitter users can follow the tweets of family, friends, businesses or celebrities.
How To Find Friends On Twitter
Once you decide to join Twitter, you'll probably want to find your friends. There are several options for doing this. You may choose to log into your email account and use the "Find Friends" feature to see if any of the addresses of your friends are in Twitter. You can also use the search function in Twitter to search by the person's name or send an email invite from Twitter to someone.
Step 1: Join Twitter
- You can join Twitter for free by going to their sign-up page.http://twitter.com/signup Once there, you will need to do the following:
- Choose a user name.
- Choose a password. It needs to be at least 6 characters long.
- Insert your email address.
- Type in the words for the CAPTCHA device.
- Click on the Terms of Service.http://twitter.com/tos It will pop-up in a new window or tab. Read it carefully. Then return to the sign-up page.
- If you want email updates, click on the box.
- Click "I accept. Create my account".
More Video Tips on Using Twitter
Step 2: Finding Friends During Set Up
- After you accept, you will be brought to a screen that asks Are your friends on Twitter? This will help you find any friends you might have on Twitter by accessing your MSN Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL email accounts. Essentially, it looks at your contacts and then matches email addresses. It does not work with any other type of email accounts.
- You will need to either:
- Find Your Friends: Insert your email address and password, and click "continue".
- Skip This Step: Click on the skip link. This link is not boxed, but appears in blue underneath the continue box.
- Don't worry. If you skip this part, but want to attempt it later, you can. Once you are finished, you will find yourself at the "find & follow" page of Twitter. You're ready to move onto the next step.
Protecting Your Tweets
Privacy can be an issue when discussing your life on the internet. Chris Gore of Attack of the Show and G4 talks about protecting tweets by making the account private. The place to mark for making the account private is in the setting section at the upper right portion of the page. Once this is done, you must approve any person who wants to view your tweets.
Step 3: Twitter Options
- Once you've signed up, you will be taken to your personal homepage. You will be presented with three options: "Tell us what you're doing," "Find some friends" and "Turn on your mobile phone."
Posting your first Tweet -
The first thing you will notice is the message "What are you doing?" above an empty text box.
- Type an answer to the prompt in 140 characters or less.
- Click on the gray update box.
- You've posted your first Tweet!
Getting Connected -
Clicking on the text "Turn on your mobile phone to update your friends on the go" will help you set up your mobile phone to send and receive Twitter messages.
- Twitter will ask for your phone number and country code.
- If you're in the United States or Canada, add "+1" to your nine digit number.
- Once you have completed that step, you will need to verify your number by texting a code to 40404 in the U.S.
Replying to a Tweet
Once you are set up and have your home page showing for your Twitter account, you'll want to know how to reply to someone on Twitter. You can choose to view all the @"youraccount". Clicking on this will show anyone who has tweeted to you. This is how you engage in conversation with other Twitter users. You have the option to reply immediately under the message the person sent you.
Step 4: Adding More Twitter Followers
Clicking on the link "Find some Friends and Follow What They're Doing" will allow you to either find friends via your email account or invite friends who are not using Twitter yet to join.
Inviting Friends to Join Twitter
- To invite friends, click on the gray tab that says Invite by Email.
- Type in an email address. You can enter more than one email address by separating them with a comma.
- If you want to see what your friends will be getting, click on the blue text that says "What will this look like?"
- When you are finished, click on send.
Find Friends on Twitter How do you find friends while you're waiting for your other friends to sign up?
- At the very top of the page, to the left of the Twitter logo, there is a search box.
- Type in a word or phrase and see what pops up.
- Once you've found a friend or someone you'd like to follow, click the gray follow button on the right side of the search result box.
Increasing Your Number of Followers
You might start out with the goal of just connecting with immediate friends and families. However, if you catch the Twitter bug like many do, you will be wondering how to get more followers. Followers read your tweets, may share your likes, or may offer info on something you need to know. While some companies offer to get you followers for a fee, it is best to gather the users yourself through means like blogs, Facebook, Myspace, etc.
Step 5: Adjusting Your Twitter Account
- The next thing you will want to do is adjust your settings. Look at the top of the page. You will see a set of words in blue. Click on Settings. From your Settings page, you will be able to change or adjust the following:
Account is the default screen, or the first one you will see after clicking on the settings selection. On this page you can change your name, user name, email address and time zone. You can also add the following information:
- More Info URL: A link to your homepage or blog
- One Line Bio: Your life story in 160 letters or less
- Your Location: It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where you are?
- Your Language
One of the most important things you can do on the Account screen is protect your updates. There is a "protect my updates" checkbox located at the bottom of a screen. If you click on the box, your profile will no longer be visible on Twitter's public timeline.http://twitter.com/public_timeline This means only people that you approve can follow your updates. If you are a minor or concerned with your privacy, check this box.
This section allows you to change your password. Twitter will ask you to enter your new password twice.
If you wish to send and receive Twitter updates via your mobile phone, this screen will allow you to enter and verify your cell number.
This is where you can change your image. The maximum image size is 700k.
This tab allows you to change your page design in Twitter. It allows you to change your background color, background image, text color, name color, link color, sidebar fill color and sidebar border color. All design options, except background image, require you to insert the six digit color value.
Updating Your Twitter Profile
Updating your profile is simple. Start at the settings button at the top right of the page. There is a profile section in this area which lets you change things like your name, address, email address, photo and other information. Additional profile photos can be added. This section can be modified at any time.
Step 6: Setting Notifications
In this part of your account, you can change how often you are notified about new posts or followers by text message, instant message or email. You have several options; some are automatically selected for you.
- Auto Nudge: This will text message or instant message you if you have not updated your page in twenty-four hours. The default for this is off.
- @ Replies: This will show you all, some or no replies in your timeline from other people on Twitter.
- An @ reply (or @reply) is a public Twitter update directed at a certain person. It starts with "@username." For example, to do an @reply toward me, you would type "@darcylogan" along with whatever message you wished to send me.
- From the Settings page, you have three options which apply to @replies:
- See all @ replies: See all of the @replies made by people you follow, whether or not you follow the person to whom the reply is directed.
- See @ replies of everyone you are following: See @replies from people you follow directed at other people you follow. (Default)
- See no @ replies: Never see @replies on your timeline.
- New Follower Emails: This box is automatically checked, which means you will be sent emails anytime someone starts "following" you on Twitter. If you don't want to receive emails, make sure the box is not checked.
- Direct Text Emails: This box emails you when you receive a direct message. It is automatically checked. If you don't want to receive emails, you need to uncheck it.
- Email Newsletter: If you want email updates, this is the box to check. It is not checked by default.
Following Celebrity Tweeters
Celebrities on Twitter have many followers. Following celebrities allows Twitter users to see the day to day life of the actors, actresses, and musicians they love. Because of so many impostors trying to draw attention with a celebrity name, Twitter set up the verified feature symbol for users to be sure the person they were following was the actual celebrity.
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Check out these other helpful Mahalo How To pages to learn more about using Twitter:
- How to Send a Direct Message on Twitter
- How to Find Friends on Twitter
- How to Follow Someone on Twitter
- How to Get More Followers on Twitter
- How to Post a Picture on Twitter
- How to Retweet on Twitter
- How to Protect Your Tweets on Twitter
- How to Change Your Profile Picture on Twitter
- How to Block Someone on Twitter
- How to Follow Friday on Twitter
- How to Join Twitter
- How to Mention Someone on Twitter
- How to Post Links on Twitter
- How to Reply to Someone on Twitter
- How to Tweet on Twitter
- How to Unfollow People on Twitter
- How to Use Twitter Lists
- How to Use Trending Topics on Twitter
- Twitter and Dating
- Twitter Do's and Dont's
- How to Use Twitter Hashtags
- How to Update Your Profile on Twitter
- Verified Celebrities on Twitter
- What is Twitter