What is Twitter and what is it for?

Twitter what is it

If you have just arrived on social networks and want to start on Twitter, we have prepared the post you need: what is Twitter and how it works.

Take your most comfortable chair and find the answers to all the questions that arise about this social network.

What is Twitter

Twitter is a social network that was born in 2006. It allows you to communicate and interact with other users through public messages, known as tweets, and private messages, known as DM or direct message.

It is a microblogging-type social network to which access is free and in which all its functionalities have been free, except for Twitter Blue, which appeared as a subscription service in 2022. You can use it in the desktop version and in the version mobile, both on iOS and Android.

Its main feature is that it has a strong character limit: it started with a maximum of 140 characters, which increased to 280 in 2017.

Despite being one of the oldest social networks, its users remain loyal, while the new generations tend to prefer others: one only has to look at Twitter’s failed attempts to approach the youngest with features from other social networks.

Even so, in 2022 Twitter reached 368 million active users, according to Statista sources.

After the presentations, we are going to take the first steps on Twitter.

How to get started on Twitter

The first thing you need to do on this social network is to create an account. You can enter without it, but you will have very limited functionalities.

Basically, you will be able to browse a couple of tweets in the user’s profiles, but you will not be able to follow, nor see multimedia content, nor of course, interact with other accounts.

How to create an account on Twitter

You can create a user account in a few minutes by following these steps:

  • Enter the Twitter page and click Sign Up.
  • Enter the data required by the social network: full name, email, telephone and password. Choose how to sign up, whether with your email or with your mobile.
  • Choose a username that will be the one with which you will be recognized on the social network.
  • Complete your user profile and you’re done.

When you have it, remember that it is important to optimize your Twitter profile so that users can find you easily.

You can delete your Twitter account at any time, but keep in mind that you will lose all the content you have shared. 

First steps on Twitter

Once you have access to your account, it is time to know what the home screen of your profile looks like.

Here is everything related to your account:

  • In the central part, you have the cover photo, profile photo, biography, published tweets and those you have retweeted. Also, you can switch to see the replies, media and likes you’ve received.
  • On the left side you can access the start of your timeline, the explore section, Communities and notifications, where you will see all the interactions you have received, among other options.
  • On the right side, you have the Twitter search engine, the multimedia content you have shared, recommended users to follow and trends. 

You already know what Twitter is, how to create an account and what the home screen looks like. It’s time to get down to work and see how the social network works.

How to interact on Twitter

Twitter offers several possibilities to interact with other users. Get to it, because interacting with other accounts is basic to growing on Twitter and on any social network.

  • Follow: You can follow as many accounts as you want. Go to the user you are interested in and click on ‘Follow’. To unfollow him, go back to the profile and you will have the option to ‘Unfollow’ in the same place.
  • Retweet: Retweeting is sharing a tweet to show it on your timeline and for your followers to see. It can be a retweet without a message or with a message, known as a ‘Quote tweet’ and allows you to add your own tweet to the original.
  • I like: this is the other option to interact, in which you can like the tweet. Usually, Twitter shows other users the likes, as if it were the retweet.
  • Direct Messages – Here you can communicate privately with other users. Depending on whether they have a private account or access to private messages, you will be able to send a message or not.

How Twitter works

Twitter works through tweets, which are the posts of the social network.

As we have told you before, at the beginning they were 140 characters but now you have up to 280 to publish the content you want, including photos, videos or gifs and mentions to other users.

If right now your head is going a little crazy, don’t worry, we are going to explain how to write a tweet and how to interact, as well as other features of the platform.

How to compose a tweet

How to post on Twitter?

  • Click on the ‘Tweet’ button on the left side of the screen or, if you’re on mobile, on the icon on the bottom right of a feather.
  • Now it’s time to be creative and post on twitter, remember that you have up to 280 characters for this: emojis and hashtags are included, as well as mentions. To mention a user you just have to write the @ symbol and the username that Twitter will show you.
  • You can add different elements to your tweet, such as an image, video or a gif. Also a survey, although it cannot go hand in hand with multimedia content.
  • When you have everything, click Tweet and you’re done.

How to reply to a tweet

Replying to a tweet is one of the basic interaction options on Twitter: it is used to maintain a conversation with another user and, as new tweets, “create content” for your account.

How can you reply to a tweet?

  • Within Twitter, tap on the chat icon that you will see in the lower left.
  • Write the response tweet: as if it were your own tweet where you mention other accounts, put hashtags, etc.
  • Click ‘ Reply ‘ and you’re done.

These responses are found in the ‘Tweets and responses’ section. Also in the original tweet of who wrote it.

How to retweet on Twitter

Retweeting is a way to share the content of your tweets on your own timeline. It is a way to show that you like the content you have seen and want your users to see it.

To retweet a tweet:

  • Go to Twitter and choose a tweet to share.
  • Tap on the two arrows button, similar to this one 🔂.
  • Click ‘ Retweet ‘ and you’re done.

When retweets are shared, they appear on your timeline as if they were your own tweets.

How to quote a tweet

Quote a tweet is another option to “reply” to a user’s tweet. Instead of appearing as a reply to a tweet, it appears as a new tweet from you.

And how to quote a tweet?

  • Go to the tweet you want to quote.
  • Tap on the icon in the center of the two arrows, the retweet icon 🔂.
  • Twitter will open a box with the original tweet and a space for you to write your own.
  • Compose your tweet and click ‘Tweet‘.

How to create a thread on Twitter

One of the classic contents of Twitter is the creation of threads. By having the 280-character limit, many users reply to their own tweets by following the thread of the first tweet, hence the name.

If you want to tell something that needs more than 280 characters, this option is great: just click the reply button, a comic bubble-shaped icon, and keep telling your story.

Twitter features

In such a veteran social network you have to renew or die. And in this case, Twitter wanted to update its application with new features to encourage its use.

What are these extras besides tweets?

  • Twitter search: it is one of the social network tools that allows you to search for old content both from your account and from other users.
  • Twitter Communities: It is a functionality to create your own community on Twitter with which to share content privately.
  • Saved: in this section, you can save the tweets that you find interesting so that you never lose them unless the original user deletes them.
  • Themes – An option to choose the content that interests you and that Twitter will use to show you on your profile.
  • Twitter lists: With the lists, you can group the content that interests you the most and order it by theme. 
  • Twitter Circle – In this circle, you build your small group of trusted followers to show them your future tweets before releasing them publicly.
  • Twitter Ads: is the ad platform of the social network, from where you can create your own ad campaigns. 
  • Twitter Analytics: If you want to see how your content works on Twitter, you can measure all the information. 

External Twitter tools: Metricool

Now that you know everything about Twitter and how it works, did you know that there are external tools to manage your account?

With Metricool you can: 

  • Schedule your content on Twitter using the best hours option to get the most out of your tweets.
  • Measure Twitter analytics and have information about your metrics at the click of a button, generating PDF and PPT reports on your performance.
  • Manage your account by monitoring hashtagsresponding to direct messages and analyzing your competition.