What is Twitter?

What is Twitter?

What is Twitter?New to Twitter? Wondering what all the fuss is about? Never fear! Our simple guide will explain all the Twitter basics so you get started with the popular social network.

So what is Twitter?

Twitter is an online network that lets you post news, updates, links and pictures. You can use it on the web in your browser and you can use it as an app on your phone, PC or Mac. Each time you share an item it’s called a Tweet or an update.

Twitter is social because it lets you interact with other users. If you like another user’s Tweets, you can subscribe to their feed. This is called following. When someone posts a great Tweet, you can share it with your followers. This is retweeting. Or you can just strike up a conversation with one or several other users.

Tweets are limited to 140 characters and while that sounds quite limiting, it actually lets you say quite a lot while staying brief. It’s the perfect length for bite-sized bits of information.

What makes Twitter different from Facebook?

Twitter terms explained
  • Tweet – any update shared to Twitter
  • Follow – subscribe to someone’s Tweets
  • @ – public Tweet to another user
  • Retweet – post another user’s Tweet to your feed
  • Direct message (DM) – a private message between 2 followers
  • Hashtag (#) – tag assigned to one topic
  • Trending topic – popular discussion

Facebook’s great for staying in touch with friends and family. Twitter is more for following your interests and sharing news. For example, you might like to share your views with other Twitter users while watching a live TV event or a sports game. Likewise, you may have just read an interesting article or blog post and want to quickly share it with your followers. News stories breaking at home and around the world can be tracked on Twitter.

I’ve heard it’s all about celebrities/people’s sandwiches/other dull trivia

Selecting who you follow on Twitter is important. For best results, pick some experts in fields that interest you, like Softonic for software news and tips. Lots of TV stations, newspapers, journalists and writers now use Twitter to share news updates so you’re bound to find local updates that interest you. And yes, you can follow Kim Kardashian too, if you really want. No one’s judging.

How do I get started?

It’s simple. Just sign up for a Twitter account and get tweeting! Don’t forget to follow Softonic to stay up to date with all our software news, reviews and tips. If you’re using Twitter on your phone, there are apps for all the major platforms. You can also get TweetDeck, the official Twitter app for Windows and Mac.

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