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How Twitter works

How Twitter works

It’s been a long time in this part that you hear more and more insistently talking about Twitter but you have not yet understood what it is? Ok, then today I will try to clarify a little ‘ideas on the subject and to explain, by thread, sign how it works. Do not worry, being able to understand how Twitter works is not absolutely complicated, just “get a little ‘hand” and you’re done, you have my word.

First of all you must know that Twitter is a social network or, better said, a very popular micro-blogging service that allows you to communicate through short messages, photos and videos to be published by computers, smartphones and tablets. It is completely free and fairly respectful of user privacy (certainly more than other social networks that currently go for the most). In short, what I’m trying to tell you is that it is not yet another “duplication” of Facebook. Indeed, to understand well how Twitter works we must start from the assumption that we are talking about a completely different world – both in operation and in content – compared to that created by Mark Zuckerberg and partners. There are no friends to accept or reciprocate, all posts are freely readable by anyone (except direct messages, but we’ll talk about this in a while ‘) and there are no events or games to participate.

It’s true, it takes a bit ‘of time to assimilate well all the “mechanics” of Twitter, but it is not absolutely complicated or reserved for fans of technology as someone says. Try to use it yourself and you will immediately realize that understanding how Twitter works is much easier to do than to say. Clarified this, we ban the chatter and immediately start to get busy!

How Twitter works – Subscribe to Twitter

How Twitter works

To enter the world of Twitter you must first register for the service. To carry out this operation you can act both from the computer, connecting to the twitter.com website, or from smartphone or tablet by downloading, the official Twitter app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Actually there are also third-party Twitter clients, such as Tweetbot for iOS, but to take the first steps in this social network is better to use the official app.

To create a new Twitter account from a computer, the first step you need to take is to start the web browser you usually use to surf the net and connect to the Twitter home page.

Then, click on the Subscribe button located at the top right and fill out the form that is shown on the screen by typing your name, your email address and the password you want to use to access the social network and then click on the Subscribe button. At this point, choose the username to use on the service and click on Subscribe.

Then choose whether to provide Twitter with your mobile number against a greater degree of security of the account or if you go to the next step by pressing on the link Jump placed at the bottom left. Now indicate the username with which you want to introduce yourself to the Twitter public by filling out the appropriate form on the screen and click on Next. Finally press on the button Let’s start !.

If you have downloaded the Twitter app on your mobile phone or tablet, start it, press the Subscribe button and follow the on-screen instructions. You will be asked to type in your name, then your phone number and a brief check will be started (similar to the one you do when registering with WhatsApp). Next you will have to choose a password to access Twitter, a username to use on the service and you will have to indicate your e-mail address.

At the end of the registration phase – both on computers and on portable devices – you will be invited to insert a profile picture that represents you and to indicate your main interests (eg Music, Sport, Entertainment etc.). As a result, Twitter will propose you profiles to follow relevant to the selected topics. You will also be asked to share contacts in the address book to find your friends already subscribed to the service: choose whether to accept or not, by pressing the button Import contacts or No thanks. Then choose whether to start following someone among the indicated users or if you deselect all and press the Continue button. Activate then or leave disabled Twitter notifications from browser or mobile.

Once you have passed these steps, you are officially ready to “tweet”. First, however, I would say to better investigate the operation of the service and understand what are its main differences compared to Facebook.

How Twitter works – Follower and Following

How Twitter works

As you surely know, Facebook is structured with a system of mutual friendships. In a nutshell, each user can request the friendship of another person and, when the request is accepted, the two can communicate with each other, view their status updates, view / comment on the photos, and so on. On Twitter, this concept of reciprocity does not exist.

On Twitter there are no friends but followers and following, or people who follow your updates and people who you follow the updates. In both cases there is no need to return the attention. If a person has decided to follow you and view your messages, you do not have to return the favor by becoming his follower, and vice versa.

How Twitter works – Tweet

How Twitter works

Now let’s move on to posts posted on the profile. As mentioned, these are also very different on Twitter compared to Facebook. First of all they are not called status updates but tweets (tweets, wanting to do a forced translation into Italian) and have a strict limit of 280 characters.

In short, the tweets are much more similar to text messages that sometimes run on Facebook, but this is the beauty! With only 280 characters available, often you are forced to pay much more attention to what you write and this greatly increases the overall quality of Twitter content compared to that of Facebook.

In addition to the “pure” tweets, composed of text only, you can also share photos (as I explained in more detail in my guide on how to tweet a picture), video (if you remember well I explained how to proceed in my tutorial on how to upload videos on Twitter) and animated GIFs (I talked about this in my tutorial on how to tweet a GIF).

To tweet simply press the Tweet button (on the desktop) or the button depicted the symbol of a feathered pen placed in the upper right part of the Twitter screen (on iOS) and in the lower right part (on Android), type your message in the appropriate form that is displayed on the screen and select the Tweet button. To tweet with photos and videos, instead, press, after starting the composition of a new message, on the button with the symbol of the frame and choose images or movies to post on the timeline. Instead, to tweet a GIF, just select the appropriate GIF button located next. Following a Twitter update, all multimedia attachments do not take up more room for the tweet text; you will not be subtracted from the 280 characters available for your tweet.

How Twitter works – Replies

How Twitter works

And what about the comments, how does Twitter work? Is it possible to comment on the tweets and photos of the people you follow? Of course, but even in this case the mechanics are different from those you’re used to on Facebook.

To comment on a post or photo on Twitter, you must use the Reply function (the icon with a comic strip symbol) below each message. By clicking on this button, a text field will appear automatically with a little snail (@) and the username of the person you want to send the reply to.

I’ll tell you immediately that the snail is the symbol used on Twitter to mention a person and talk to her. For example, if you want to mention the user How to do For in your tweet you have to write @howtodofor inside the message. Even if the person you mentioned is not a follower of yours (ie, does not follow your updates), you will receive a notification of the mention you made.

In conversations the user name of the person to whom the messages are destined to be placed at the beginning of the tweet (eg @howtodofor how are you?). This type of message is displayed only by the person concerned or by whoever is a follower of both you and the recipient of the tweet. For more details on the issue are available in my guide on how to mention on Twitter.

How Twitter works – Shares

How Twitter works

Now let’s move on to the shares. On Twitter, as well as on other social networks and also on Facebook, it is possible to share links. To do this, just type the address in your tweet or use the appropriate buttons for social shares available on blogs and websites. Please note that in this case 23 characters are scaled by the message, regardless of the actual length of the URL.

You can then retweet the messages of others in order to publish them on your profile by automatically citing the authors. To do this, all you have to do is position yourself with the mouse pointer on the tweet to be shown on your profile and click on the Retweet button (the icon with the two stylized circular arrows) that appears at the bottom, type a possible comment to add to retweet and click on the appropriate button to proceed with sharing. The original author of the retweeted message will be notified by Twitter, as is the case with conversations.

Another way to show appreciation of a content posted on Twitter is to add it to the ones you like, ie add it to a list of tweets saved in the section Like on your profile (but not republished in your timeline as it happens with retweets). To add a tweet to the ones you like, simply click on the symbol of the little heart that is placed under it.

How Twitter works – Direct messages

How Twitter works

Twitter, just like Facebook, allows users to send direct messages, otherwise known as DM, which can only be read by those directly involved and do not appear in the service timeline. To use them, just connect to the user profile to contact, press the envelope icon and type the message you want to send privately in the text field displayed on the screen and press the button to send it all.

Keep in mind that in addition to simple text, you can also send images, videos and GIFs via a private message. To do this, just press the appropriate button that you are shown at the section to type the text to be sent as DM.

Direct messages do not have the limit of 280 characters like public tweets but, this is good that you keep this in mind, by default, they can only be used by two people who follow each other.

If you are interested in accepting private messages even if you do not follow and / or are not followers, you must go to the settings of your account (under Settings and Privacy from the menu that appears when clicking on your photo) select the item related to Privacy and Security, put the check mark next to the item Receive Direct Messages from anyone and save the changes made.

How Twitter works – Hashtag and trend

How Twitter works

At this point you should have pretty clear ideas about how Twitter works. Before leaving you finally free to use the famous microblogging service, however, there are two other things that I think it is appropriate to talk to you: the hashtags and trends. What is it about? Well, basically the topics that at a certain moment go for the most on Twitter.

Entering more specifically, hashtags (also on Facebook and Instagram, are “labels” preceded by the pound sign (#) that users can enter in their tweets to make others understand that they are talking about a particular topic. , are used to discuss large events, news stories or themes that for any reason have won the interest of people on Twitter.

For example, if many Twitter users tell their story about a great event by adding the hashtag #bigevent to their messages, anyone clicking on that hashtag will be able to view all the messages that talk about the topic.

The trends, otherwise known as trends, are therefore the hashtags and themes that at a given moment are enjoying greater popularity on Twitter. Find the Twitter trend list in the sidebar located on the left side of the social network homepage.

How Twitter works – Help and other information

How Twitter works

I would say that now you have all the information you need to face this new “internettiana” adventure. However, if you still have any doubt or if you need even more detailed information about this or that other function know that, of course, in addition to being able to count on me, you can take advantage of the Twitter Support Center which you can access by clicking here.

In the Help Center you will find all the information you can think about Twitter, its operation and any doubts, problems and problems that you can meet when using this social networking service. You can consult all the main topics by clicking on the links at the top of the web page displayed or you can type a specific keyword in the search field at the top.

How Twitter works

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