What is Twitter?

Homepage twitter
Homepage of Twitter for desktop users.

Twitter is an online networking site that allows users to post and read short 140-characters messages called “tweets”. These short message or tweets could be anything the user would wish to share to their “followers”, from what they have in mind to what they are currently up to and many more. These tweets could be added with a photo, a GIF, or your current location. A tweet could also be a poll for your followers to answer.

sample tweet
A sample tweet

Twitter features tags for tweets by the use of “hashtags” and its symbol is the number sign, for instance “#samplehashtag”.

A sample list of trending topics.

The tag must contain no space so it would be recognized by the website as one whole tag. These tags are used to categorize or identify what the user is currently tweeting about. Tags or Hashtags that are used by a huge number of users are identified by Twitter as “trending topics”. Trending topics could span as what is being talked about by the whole world or only by a specific country.

Users could converse to other users through the use of the “@” symbol and proceeded by the username, for example, “@sampleusername”.  The concept of the use of this feature is like tagging someone on facebook. The tweet, that contains another person’s username then posted, is going to be notified to that other person’s account and the other person has the option to reply, “retweet” or favorite the tweet. Retweet means a user is going to repost the tweet of another user and have it posted in your feed for your followers to see. The user could also add his/her thoughts in the retweet.

A profile sample in Twitter.

The user is free anytime to customize his/her profile: name, username, icon/display photo, cover photo, biography, birthday and location of the user. It is not mandatory so the user has the option to leave it blanked for privacy purposes except for the user’s username and name. The user is also able to use the pin tweet feature. The pinned tweet is the tweet that is placed on top of the list of tweets in the user’s profile. Twitter also features a private messaging or “direct messaging” as it is called.

There are a lot of other features that Twitter can offer, the discussed are only the basic and necessary for this netnography.