Twitter Terminology Page

Here are some common terms to help your beak get acclimated to Twitter speak:

  • Tweet. The name for your posts or updates. When you post anything on Twitter-- a thought, a link, an opinion, a joke -- you just sent a tweet.
  • Retweet. When you re-post a tweet sent by someone else. Usually by hitting the "Retweet" button that appears when you hover around the lower right corner of someone's tweet, or by copying and pasting their tweet and adding an the letters "RT" before it.
  • DM. Short for "Direct Message." A private message that you either send to or receive from one of your followers. Unlike tweets, these messages do not appear in your timeline for everyone to see, but are private.
  • Follower. Someone who makes you feel special by choosing to 'subscribe' to you and see all of your tweets.
  • Hashtag. Any word with the "#" symbol in front of it. It acts as a keyword, which makes it easy for someone searching for a particular topic. People include hashtags in tweets so that others interested in that same hashtag can find them easily. Twitter parties would not exist without them.
  • @. This symbol is found when a Twitter user is mentioned in a tweet. For example, you might see a tweet from a friend that says, "Great party with @tweeparties last night!" Placing that symbol in front of a user's ID allows you to click on that ID and easily find out more about user. Also, when logged in, you'll notice on your Twitter page in the right sidebar under "HOME" that your Twitter ID appears with the "@" symbol in front of it. If you click on that, you will see all of the tweets in which you were mentioned on Twitter by another user.
  • Reply. When you respond to another user or their tweet. If you hover in the lower right corner of the person's tweet you want to reply to, you'll see a "reply" button. Click that, then type a message. Their ID will appear in your type box with the "@" symbol in front of it. Just type your reply after this. The "@" symbol in front of their ID helps the recipient see your reply. When this symbol and the user's ID are the first characters in your reply, only the two of you, or someone following both of you, can see your reply in the timeline.
  • Tweeps, Tweeple. People who use Twitter.
  • 140. The number of characters you are allowed to type in a tweet. Short and sweet.
  • Shortened Links. 140 characters in which to type isn't a whole lot of room. And if you want to include a link in your tweet, those can at times be lengthy. If you have a long link and want to squeeze it into a tweet, try shortening it through a free link service. Visit Bit.ly or Tiny Url to learn how. Soon Twitter will do this automatically for you when you post a long link.
  • Twitterverse, Twittersphere. The universe that is known as Twitter. Welcome to it and enjoy your stay!