Twitter Terms Every Beginner Needs to Know

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Tweet: A post added on Twitter. This can include a statement, question, photo, link, or any variation of these things, but must be 140 characters or less.

Retweet (RT): This is when someone shares your tweet to their followers.

Followers: This is the list of people who have chosen to follow you. That means they can see any tweet you post on their Twitter feed on their home page.

Following: This is the list of people who you have chosen to follow. That means you will see their tweets in your own Twitter feed.

Home stream/feed/timeline: This is the continuous stream of tweets of those you are following. You will see these on your homepage after logging into Twitter.

Twitter handle (username): This is the specific name chosen for your Twitter account and helps others find you directly.  It can be found on a Twitter profile under their name starting with the @ symbol. This also decides the URL of a Twitter profile. For example, Pepsi’s Twitter URL is and their Twitter handle is @pepsi.

@reply: This is when you direct a message to a specific person in reply to their tweet. To do this you will include a user’s Twitter handle in the beginning of your tweet. This is an example:  @pepsi thank you for following me.  A Mention is when @username is anywhere within a tweet, not just at the beginning. You can find your mentions under the notification tab. For more specifics on mentions and @replies at Twitter support.

Hashtag: Using the # symbol and a keyword/topic to categorize a tweet. This is an example of a “tweet” using a hashtag (#ShareaCoke):

An image of six Coca-Cola bottles with personalized labels reading Tim, Ethan, Rick, Yesenia, Rosa, and Lou. The caption encourages you to share a Coke with friends and find bottles with their names. It's as exciting as learning Twitter terms every beginner needs to know! #ShareaCoke

People can find specific topics by searching for these hashtags in the search bar.

#TBT: This hashtag stands for Throwback Thursday. This is a popular hashtag used on Thursdays where people post something from the past such as an old photo.

DM: Direct message. This is a private message between you and another person on Twitter. You can only send a direct message to someone who is following you.

Favorite: You can favorite a tweet by clicking the star button under a tweet. To favorite a tweet means to like it, agree with it, or wish to save it to view later. Your favorite tweets are listed on your Twitter profile. If the author of the favorited tweet has a protected profile, other users cannot view this favorite unless they have been accepted by the author as a follower.

Protected Tweets (private accounts): A user can protect their tweets in their privacy settings. This means your tweets will not be public and only those you accept can view them.

Header Photo: The image you upload to your account that appears on the top of your profile. See the example below:

A screenshot of the Twitter profile for PaperStreet Design featuring their logo, a colorful abstract graphic, and a tagline about improving lawyers’ reputations through various digital marketing services. Essential Twitter Terms Every Beginner Needs to Know are seamlessly integrated in their content strategy.

Profile Photo: The image that appears next to all of your tweets, usually your logo or personal photo. In the above photo the profile photo is the blue and white logo whereas the header photo is the larger image.

ICYMI: In case you missed it. This is when someone tweets about a trending topic or news story a few days later, or they’ve already tweeted about it.

TFTF: Thanks for the follow.

Trending Topics: These are the hot topics on Twitter that most people are talking about. You can see these on the left side of your Twitter account.

For more terms you can check out the following articles:

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