Getting Started with Twitter

by Elizabeth Harper for Techlicious

Getting Started with Twitter

Learn how in 140 characters you can communicate directly with Justin Bieber or simply ‘change the world’.–PC Pitstop.

If you’re online—and reading this!—you’ve probably heard of Twitter. But just what is Twitter for? How does it work? And how do you get started using it? Whether you want to start using Twitter yourself or just want to know what it is, we’ll help untangle the mysteries of this social networking site.

Just what is Twitter?

On Twitter, you’ll find friends and family as well as celebrities, companies and strangers who may share your interests. News networks (like @AP and @CNN) will post breaking news announcements, companies may hold giveaways, celebrities post announcements on what they’re working on and everyone has conversations. Like any social network, what you get out of Twitter is based on who you follow on the site, and you can follow anyone else using Twitter (so long as their account isn’t private).

Think of Twitter as a big, open room—with all of Twitter’s 200 million active users chatting away inside from all over the world. You can roam around and listen to what everyone’s talking about or just chat with a small group of your friends.

Twitter is considered a micro-blogging service, which means the posts made to Twitter have to be an extremely brief, 140 characters or less. Unlike Facebook, which has lots of options that allow you to keep your information private, Twitter is a predominately public space. Though you can make your Twitter account private, meaning only people you approve can see your messages, you only have two options—to be completely public or completely private.

You may not think 140 characters is very much to get something across, but these brief messages are perfect for sharing small updates, little bites of everyday life. And while each message is short, you may find yourself replying to other people—and them replying to you—which turns a single short message into a longer conversation. Twitter also lets you easily share links, photos, and videos, which you can post for your friends—or everyone— to see with or without comment.

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This excerpt appears with the permission of Techlicious.

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