What Is Twitter?
What is it?
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called "Tweets" of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.
Do I need anything special to use it?
All you need to use Twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone. Join us here! Once you're in, type your first update into the web box. To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing on Twitter, check out Twitter search to see what Twitter's all about. You can search by keyword or just check out the trending topics to see what's hot on Twitter right now.
How do I find people to follow?
When you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email. If you don't want to do that, follow some of the people we've suggested. Once you've found your friends, follow them to start getting their updates.
What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter?
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page. New messages are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time. When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are. Twitter offers other ways to follow people too: you can get updates from certain people on your phone!
How do I know who I'm following?/
After you click the 'Follow' button on someone's profile, you're following them. The 'Follow' button will change to blue and will say 'Following'. If you've registered your phone with Twitter, you can set up text notification preferences for a person as well. See a list of people you're following by clicking on the following link on your profile page or on your home page's sidebar.
How do I know who is following me?
Twitter sends you an email when someone new follows you. Set up your email preferences to notify you when you have a new follower. The 'Followers' link on your profile page or home page's sidebar will also tell you how many followers you have.
What are @replies?
An @reply is a public message sent from one person to another, distinguished from normal updates by the @username prefix. If a message begins with @username, we collect it as an @reply. Reply publicly to any update on Twitter by using the @username format. Following is not necessary to reply to someone, and all @replies directed to you are visible in the Mentions tab on the Connect page. (Tweets with @username elsewhere in the Tweet are also collected in Mentions; Tweets starting with @username are @replies, and Tweets with @username elsewhere are considered mentions.) Please note that if your Tweets are protected, users who are not following you will not see your @replies or mentions.
What are direct messages?
Direct messages are personal messages sent from one Twitter person to another; they do not appear in the public timeline, like an @reply or mention. You can only send a direct message to a person who follows you. When you receive a direct message, we save it in your direct message inbox, accessible by clicking on the person icon and selecting Direct messages from the drop down. You can also set your email preferences to notify you by mail if you have a new message.
What is the difference between an @reply and a direct message?
An @reply is a public message sent regardless of follow-ship that anyone can view (if your Tweets are public). A direct message can only be sent by someone you follow, and is a message that only the sender and recipient can view in their direct messages inbox.