Quick Guide to Twitter Terms for Newbies

Some say learning to use Twitter is like learning a foreign language because the “Twitterverse” uses unique terms and symbols. Below is a quick guide to twitter terms to introduce you to some of the words and symbols used.

One of the easiest ways to learn how to use Twitter is to observe how others are using the social network. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can visit the Twitter search page and learn what others are saying on Twitter about the topic. This is also a great way to read what people are saying, in real-time, about a particular industry, product, or news event.

Print out the guide below to help you interpret what you see. Once you spend some time watching others tweet, you may be ready to jump in and join the fun. We’ll post our 12-step Twitter Strategies and Best Practices Guide soon. In the meantime, post your Twitter questions on the Reciprocate LLC Facebok page. Enjoy!

Quick Guide to Twitter Terms for Newbies

@ – use to call out usernames in Tweets. Use “@Username”

Avatar – profile picture

DM – “Direct Message” – private message. Use “d username” to specify the recipient

Fail Whale – Error seen when Twitter is overcapacity.

Favorite – click on the yellow star next to a message to mark it as one of your favorites

#FF – “Follow Friday” Used to suggest who others should follow on Fridays

Follow – subscribe to someone’s Tweets

Follower – someone who subscribes to your Tweets

Following – number of Twitter users you are following

Handle – Twitter user name. Your handle is http://Twitter.com/username.

# – Hashtag – used to indicate keywords or topics. Provides a way to search for similar Tweets

HT or h/t – used to acknowledge the person who originally shared the content being tweeted

Lists – curated groups of Twitter users. Used to tie individuals into a group into your Twitter account

Listed – your Twitter account is included in a list created by another Twitter user

Mention – using the “@” followed by a Twitter user’s name as a “shout out”

OH – “Overheard”

Promoted Tweets – Tweets paid to appear higher in search results

Reply – public message. Begin Tweet with “@username” of person you are sending reply to

RT – Retweet – a Tweet forwarded by another user.  To send a Retweet to all your followers, use “RT”

Suspended Accounts – Twitter’s way of reducing spammy and inappropriate Tweets

ThirdParty Application – product created by a company other than Twitter and used to access Tweets and other Twitter data.

Timeline – real-time list of Tweets

Top Tweets – most popular Tweets; determined by Twitter

Trending – real-time list of most popular topics on Twitter, usually designated by a hashtag

Tweet – a message posted via Twitter. Also a verb: Tweet, Tweeting, Tweeted

Tweeter/Twitterer – someone who posts and reads Tweets

Unfollow – stop following someone on Twitter. Their Tweets will no longer show up in your home timeline.

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