How Twitter works

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With so many available social networking platforms, Twitter is among the most used. The reason behind its success could be the unique proposition to speak your mind within 140 characters (and get popular too). All you have to do is create a free account on, read this article and start speaking your mind (in short).

You may want to read how to increase your Twitter followers and how to get verified on Twitter to become absolutely a Twitter master or just read about top influencers on Twitter just to get inspired.

People might think Twitter is similar to Facebook but they have few similarities. Twitter has its own flavor and a new user might require some time to completely understand how Twitter works. It has different features and user interface. In this article we will tell you about the Twitter terms, their usage, their significance and help you get started.

1. Fundamental term: Tweet

A tweet is a message that we send over Twitter. It is similar to “status” in Facebook but is limited to 140 characters. You can Tweet with an image also. This Tweet can be seen by your followers in their news-feed or by people who visit your profile. If you like someone’s tweet, you may share it with your followers. In that case you can retweet that tweet. Retweeting is similar to “share” in Facebook.

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Someone retweeted Barack Obama’s tweet.

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2. Follower & Following simplified

Following someone means that you wish to receive that person’s tweets in your news-feed. That person may be your friend, colleague or a celebrity. Follower is a person who wishes to receive your tweets in their news-feed. Twitter has fixed followers to following ratio. You can follow 2000 people without any conditions. However if you wish to follow more than 2000 people then you must have considerable number of followers too and that considerable number can be determined by that ratio and that is 10:11. That means if you wish to follow 1.1 million people, you must have at least 1 million followers.

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3. Is that it?

Well there is a lot more to it.

1. You can mention people in your tweets by using @ followed by the username of the person you wish to mention. They will receive a notification in this case. If you start a tweet with @username then it can be seen only by the common followers of the person who tweeted and the person who is mentioned. If you use @username anywhere else then it would be seen by all your followers. You can mention people even if you don’t follow them. There is a separate @mentions feed to see such mentions.


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2. You can reply to tweets with your reaction. You can choose who will see your reply.

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3. You can mark any tweet as “favorite” and access them separately.

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4. You can follow topics of your interests with #hashtags. These topics can be about politics, religion, technology or any other random topic. These topics are created by using “#” before the topics. For example if you tweet “#technology  i love apple iPhone 6″, then all the people following #technology will be able to see your tweet. If you start following #technology you’d be able to see all the tweets which contain this hashtag. You can use multiple “#” in a single tweet.

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The popular topics become trends. Twitter lists trends on the basis of a user’s location.

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5.  You can access Twitter from your mobile too. Twitter has an official mobile app for all the popular mobile operating systems. There are some amazing third-party apps for accessing Twitter available for power users. If you do not wish to install any app, you can simply visit This website is optimized for mobile viewing.

4. What about privacy?

Users can send personal messages known as direct messages which are not available for anyone else. You can block or un-follow people if they are bothering you or tweeting something which you don’t care about or find uninteresting. You can opt for a private or protected accounts and in that case, your Tweets will be seen only by your approved followers. Twitter accounts are public by default. You can deactivate your account if you wish to take a break and reactivate if you wish to start using Twitter again.

5. Is there something Twitter doesn’t have?

Yes. You can not have photo and video albums like you can in Facebook. Your profile information (called Bio) would be restricted to 160 characters.

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Hope you had fun with the article.

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