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Explaining Twitter

Twitter – An Explanation

You have probably heard of Twitter, but you may not know exactly what it is or does. Here is a brief explanation of the basics of Twitter – what it is, how it’s used, and so forth.

Twitter Defined

Twitter is basically a form of communication. Like a blog, it provides updates about you to people who read your information. Those who read your updates are your followers. You can choose to follow others on Twitter, too. When you send an update, it’s called a tweet.

The essence of Twitter is brevity. It condenses information into a tweet, which is just a few words or a sentence. It’s called Twitter because it is like birds chirping – one or two syllables back and forth.

Who Uses Twitter?

Twitter is not just for “young folks.” Yes, you need an internet connection, but the internet is not relegated just to youth! You can Twitter from the library computers, from your workplace (with permission from supervisors, of course, and not during work time), or from your home computer.

People also use cell phones and other mobile devices to Twitter. The mobile device is perhaps the most attractive way to send tweets, simply because it allows you to give to-the-minute updates. You don’t have to wait until you can get to a computer to update your followers. Usually, Twitter is about what you are doing “right now.”

Some people use Twitter to promote their business. They can update their clients about their product and so forth.

Is Twitter the Same as Text Messaging?

When you tweet from your cell phone, you are sending a text message. But text messaging is like passing notes in high school – the note goes to the one person who is intended to read it (hopefully!). When you text someone, you and that one person have an electronic conversation. Continuing with the high school note example, Twitter is the equivalent of writing your note on the blackboard for the whole school to see. It’s a brief message, but a lot more people see it, and can therefore comment on it.

Twitter is a social network of connected users. It’s like an enormous chat room where everyone is buzzing about the latest thing they’re doing, and you can get up-to-the-minute updates on all your friends and connections.

The Basics

If you want to open a Twitter account, go to twitter.com and click on the “Sign Up” button. You will see, when you get to Twitter’s website, that the people who are connected are listed on the site. So you can send and receive tweets from the site; you have to be a member of the Twitter website to participate.