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Twitter Basics for New Users

Twitter Basics for New Users

If you’re not a Twitter user yourself, you may know it mainly as the platform Donald Trump relies on to attack his enemies and share his unhinged rants with the world.

But if you try it yourself you may find it to be a very useful tool in your own daily life. It will feed you information on your favorite topics: politics, sports, music, competitive dog grooming—whatever. It will keep you in touch with public figures and other people you find interesting. It will broadcast to your friends what you’re doing, how you’re feeling and anything else you want to say.

Before you take off and start Tweeting, though, there are some basics you should know.

Here are a few Twitter how-tos.

Tweet

Tweets must be under 280 characters. They can also contain text, photos, GIFs, videos and links (which do not count against your 280 characters.).

Smartphone:

  1. Tap the Tweet Compose icon.
  2. Enter your message. Tap Tweet.

Computer:

  1. Enter your Tweet in the box at the top of your Home timeline or click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar. You can include up to 4 photos, a GIF or a video in your Tweet.
  2. Click the Tweet button to post the Tweet to your Twitter profile.

Retweet

A Retweet is a repost of a Tweet that you share publicly with your followers. You can Retweet your own Tweets or Tweets by someone else. Retweeting is a direct way to pass along news and discoveries you find on Twitter. You have the option to add your own comments before you Retweet.

Smartphone:

  1. From the Tweet you’d like to share, tap the Retweet icon .
  2. In the popup, tap Retweet OR to add a comment, tap Retweet with a Comment and add your thoughts.
  3. Tap Tweet and the Tweet will be shared with your followers as a Retweet.

Computer:

  1. Hover over the Tweet you’d like to share and click the Retweet button. A popup will show you the Tweet you’re about to Retweet. If you want to add a comment, do it now.
  2. Click the Retweet button (or, if you’ve added a comment, the Tweet button). The Tweet will be shared with your followers as a Retweet.

Follow

Follow accounts and never miss an update from the people who matter to you, whether family, friends or world figures.

Smartphone:

  1. Go to a Tweet sent by the account you’d like to follow.
  2. Tap the Dropdown icon [insert graphic] at the top of the Tweet.
  3. Tap Follow from the menu.

Computer:

  1. Go to a Tweet from the account you’d like to follow.
  2. Hover over the account name.
  3. Click the Follow button .

You can also follow an account from the account’s profile page.

  1. Go to the profile page of the account you’d like to follow.
  2. Then tap the Follow icon .
  3. Or, on a computer, click the profile button.

Search

You can search for individual Tweets, specific accounts or ongoing conversations. There are several ways you can do this. You can search Tweets from yourself, friends, local businesses or anyone who’s on Twitter. You can also follow ongoing conversations by searching for topic keywords or hashtags (see below).

Smartphone:

  1. Tap the Explore tab  .
  2. Enter your search query into the search box and tap Search. The results will be a combination of Tweets, photos, accounts and more.
  3. You can filter your results by tapping Top , Latest, People, Photos, Videos, News or Periscopes (located at the top of your search results). Tap the Filter icon  in the search bar to refine your results.

Computer:

  1. Enter your search query into the search box at the top of the page. Your results will show a combination of Tweets, photos, accounts and more.
  2. Filter your results by clicking Top, Latest, People, Photos, Videos, News or Broadcasts.
  3. Click the Search filters drop-down menu to filter your results.

Hashtag

A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by a # symbol. Hashtags enable you to easily follow topics you’re interested in. Use a hashtag symbol (#) in your Tweets to categorize them by keyword or topic and help them show up more easily in Twitter searches.

Tapping or clicking on a hashtag in a Tweet you’re viewing will show you other Tweets that include the hashtag. Don’t add spaces or punctuation in your hashtags or they won’t work properly.

These are, as we mentioned, just the basics. For (a lot) more information, go to the Twitter help page.

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14 Comments on “Twitter Basics for New Users

  1. So any content of a message in Twitter, which for short could be called a “Twit” or “Tweet” something like “Trick or treat” is strictly someone’s opinion or personal assessment of an event or occurrence in their life. Not to be misconstrued as anything more than someone using a social media platform to further a personal agenda.

  2. This is wonderful mail. I signed up for a twitter as soon as it was offered, but don’t use it much. It got away from me. There was never a simple page defining the icons (what’s that feather mean? Compose new tweet! It’s obvious once you know.). Thanks for directions to the Help page too.

    • This is wonderful mail. I signed up for a twitter as soon as it was offered, but don’t use it much. It got away from me. There was never a simple page defining the icons (what’s that feather mean? Compose new tweet! It’s obvious once you know.). Thanks for directions to the Help page too.

  3. Thank you! I’ve had a Twitter account for years but never knew how to use it. Now I do!

  4. You didn’t start with the basic info. How do you set up a Twitter account?

  5. I am not a Twit.
    I shall not Tweet.
    Trump is evidence that Twitter is a poor communication medium.

  6. How can I change the name used for my twitter account?

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