Twitter Basics

Wikipedia describes Twitter as a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

How Do I Get Starting on Twitter?


  • First go to
  • Click on Create Account, create a username and add your email address.
  • Click the "I Accept" button and you are ready to go!

What Will I Find?

Home Page - This is where you can click on your profile page (set up or edit) and you will see your newest "tweets" from the people you are following.  This is also the place you can compose your own "tweet".
Connect Page - This is where you will see the people following you and and who mentioned you in a "tweet".  You will also see a suggested list of people to follow based on your "tweets" and other people you follow.
Discover Page - You will find top "tweet" stories, and list of activites done by the people you follow, Find Friends and search by topic for others you may want to follow.

What is a Tweet?

Each of your Twitter posts or updates is known as a tweet. Some people refer to them as "twits," but the official term is "tweet."

What is the @ symbol used for?

The @ symbol is a way of referring to or replying to another Twitter user. For example, @JohnDoe means you're either sending a message to John Doe or you are mentioning him in your message. On your Twitter home page, you'll see a linked search where you can find people mentioning your username with an @ before it. This is how you find other people's replies to you.

Reply is when you respond to a tweet from a particular user. To reply to any given Twitter community member where it's placed in the public feed (everyone can see what you are saying) is called a Reply. Most Twitter clients (and Twitter itself) prefaces your tweet with "@username." If you wanted to send a message to John Doe, for example, you would tweet, "@John Doe How Is Jane today? Hope she Tweets soon!"

How Do I send a Direct or Private Message?

A reply to a "tweet" is completely public, but you can send a direct m/private message.  These messages are sent through a discussion board. You can only send a direct message to someone that is following your account. Send a direct message by prefacing your tweet with "DM username."

What is Retweeting?

 "Retweeting" is best described as taking a twitter message someone else has posted, and retweeting that same message to your followers. When tweeting this message, you should always give credit to the original poster.

How Do I Properly Retweet?

Retweet without adding your own comments:
Hover over a Tweet.Click the Retweet link.The Tweet will then be shared with all of your followers.

Retweet and add your own comments (RT):

  • Copy the content of the Tweet you'd like to share. (Note: this only works if the Tweet is shorter than 140 characters - Twitter recommends using the official retweet button.)
  • Add the Tweet's original author's name and the letters "RT" to show that it's a retweet and isn't your own content. 
  • Add your comment at the beginning of the message.
  • Click "Tweet" to post the message.