Twitter Basics

Find out how Twitter fits into your life
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Jun 25, 2014

Earlier this month we posted a video introducing the social media platform Twitter. There were a lot of questions in response to it, so over the next few weeks we will explain some of the features and benefits of this fun service.

Twitter is one of the world's biggest free social media services. Among online social media services, Twitter, with its 310 million users, is ranked #2 after Facebook. Twitter allows its users to communicate, share, and discover information in real time. Users can log onto the website via computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Do you have a blog, or have you read someone else's blog? Blogs are online journals: people can write and post their thoughts, opinions, feelingswhatever they like. There is no limit to the length of a blog post. Twitter puts a little twist on blogging. It's is a forum for micro, or miniature, blogging. Users can post whatever they like, but there is a very strict length limit: each post can only be 140 characters. Not words, but characters: individual letters and numbers. Even spaces and punctuation count as characters. Because these blog posts are so short, they are likened to a bird singing (short and sweet), and are called tweets. Here is a screenshot showing some examples:


Some people use Twitter as a way to keep in touch with friends and family. Businesses use Twitter as a marketing tool, letting their customers know the latest news about their products and services. Tweets can contain anything from random thoughts to videos, photos, and links. If I find an article I enjoy, I can easily share the link to it with my followers like so:

What's a follower? A follower is a Twitter user who follows someone's Twitter feed. As an active tweeter, you follow people whose tweets interest you, and you will be followed by people who like what you post.

One of the cool aspects of Twitter is you can search for a topic or read an individual tweeter's feed and read without even being a member. People tweet about all sorts of interesting things. Some people tweet about their daily activities, their successes and frustrations; writers will post snippets from their work; photographers and artists will post images. You can find jokes, political statements, definitions, history lessons, scientific breakthroughs, even poetry on Twitter.

Because the Internet has made communication almost instantaneous, breaking news travels incredibly fast. Twitter is one such platform where news, good or bad, spreads like wildfire. I know I use Twitter to keep up to the minute with what is happening in the world around me.

If you follow someone on Twitter, you receive their tweets in your personalized Twitter feed, keeping up to date with their latest posts. You can follow friends and celebrities, politicianseven products and businesses. You don't necessarily need to know someone to follow them, but you can find and make friends with tweeters who share your interests.

Registration is simple and free; all you need is an email address. Use the search box to find friends and interests. You can even find Bask on Twitter: just click here.

In future posts, we will get into some more detail about Twitter, including defining some of the lingo specific to it, and some fun tips and tricks.

If you have never used Twitter, you should give it a try. It can be fun and addictive. If you're already an active tweeter, let us know about your experience by leaving a comment below. If you're more of a novice and have questions and want to know more, post those in the comments as well. Look for more posts on Twitter in the weeks to come.

Happy tweeting, everyone!