How Twitter works

Author and references

Sign up for Twitter

To enter the world of Twitter you must first register for the service. To perform this operation you can act either from the computer, by connecting to the Internet site, that from smartphone or tablet by downloading, the official Twitter app for Android, iOS e Windows Phone. To tell the truth, there are also third-party Twitter clients, like for example Tweetbot for iOS, but to take the first steps in this social network it is better to use the official app.

To create a new Twitter account from your computer, the first step you need to take is to start the web browser you usually use to surf the net and connect to the Twitter home page.

Next, click on the button SUBSCRIBE located at the top right and fill out the form that is shown on the screen by typing yours name, your email address and Password you want to use to access the social network then click on the button SUBSCRIBE. At this point, choose the username to use on the service and click on SUBSCRIBE.

Then choose whether to also provide Twitter with your mobile number in the face of a greater degree of account security or whether to go to the next step by clicking on the link Salta located at the bottom left. Now indicate the username with which you intend to introduce yourself to the Twitter audience by filling out the appropriate form visible on the screen and click on NEXT. Finally, he presses the button Let's start!.

If, on the other hand, you have downloaded the Twitter app on your mobile or tablet, start it, press the button SUBSCRIBE and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked to type your name, then your phone number and a short verification of the latter will be started (similar to the one that is done during registration for WhatsApp). Next you will have to choose a password to access Twitter, a username to use on the service and you will have to indicate your e-mail address.

At the end of the registration phase - both on computers and on portable devices - you will be invited to insert a profile photo that represents you and to indicate your main interests (eg. MusicSportShow etc.). Consequently, Twitter will offer you profiles to follow relevant to the selected themes. You will also be asked to share the contacts in the address book to find your friends who are already subscribed to the service: you choose whether to accept or not, by pressing the button Import contacts or on No thanks. Then choose whether to start following someone among the users indicated or whether to deselect all and press the button Continue. Then activate or leave Twitter notifications disabled from your browser or mobile.

Once these steps have been passed, you are officially ready to "tweet". First, however, I would say to deepen the functioning of the service and understand what are its main differences compared to Facebook.

Follower e Following

As you surely know, Facebook is structured with a mutual friends system. In a nutshell, each user can request the friendship of another person and, when the request is accepted, the two can communicate with each other, view their respective status updates, view / comment on photos, and so on. On Twitter, this concept of reciprocity does not exist.

There are no friends on Twitter but follower e Following, i.e. people who follow your updates and people whose updates you follow. In both cases there is no need to return attention. If someone has decided to follow you and view your messages, you don't have to return the favor by becoming their follower, and vice versa.


Now let's move on to the posts published on the profile. As mentioned, these are also profoundly different on Twitter compared to Facebook. First of all they are not called status updates but tweet (chirp, wanting to do a forced translation into in your languagen) and have a strict limit of 280 characters.

In short, tweets are much more like text messages than the sometimes mileage posts on Facebook, but that's the beauty of it! With only 280 characters available, you are often forced to pay much more attention to what you write and this greatly increases the overall quality of Twitter content compared to that of Facebook.

In addition to "pure" tweets, consisting of text only, you can also share photo (as I explained to you very thoroughly in my guide on how to tweet a photo), video (if you remember correctly I explained how to proceed in my tutorial on how to upload videos to Twitter) e Animated GIF (I told you about it in my tutorial on how to tweet a GIF).

To tweet, just press the button Tweet (on desktop) or on the button depict the symbol of a feather pen located in the upper right part of the Twitter screen (on iOS) and in the lower right part (on Android), type your message in the appropriate form that appears on the screen and select the button Tweet. To tweet with photos and videos, you have to press, after starting the composition of a new message, on the button with the picture symbol and choose images or videos to post on the timeline. Instead, to tweet a GIF, just select the appropriate one GIF button placed next to it. Following a Twitter update, all multimedia attachments no longer subtract space from the tweet text; therefore you will not be subtracted from the 280 characters available for your tweet.


And as for the comments, how does Twitter work? Is it possible to comment on the tweets and photos of the people you follow? Of course, but even in this case the mechanics are different from what you are used to on Facebook.

To comment on a post or a photo on Twitter you have to use the function Reply (the icon with the symbol of a comic) present under each message. By clicking on this button, a text field with an at sign will automatically appear (@) and the username of the person you want to send the reply to.

I immediately point out that the snail is the symbol used on Twitter for to mention a person and converse with her. For example, if you want to mention the user ridingworks in your tweet you have to write @salvoridingworks within the message. Even if the person you mentioned is not your follower (i.e. does not follow your updates), they will receive a notification of the mention you made.

in conversations the username of the person to whom the messages are intended must be placed at the beginning of the tweet (eg. @salvoridingworks how are you?). This type of message is displayed only by the interested party or by those who are followers of both you and the recipient of the tweet. For more details on the matter can be found in my guide on how to mention on Twitter.


Now let's move on to sharing. On Twitter, as well as on other social networks and even on Facebook, it is possible to share link. To do this, just type the address in your tweet or use the appropriate buttons for social shares available on blogs and websites. Note that in this case 23 characters are scaled from the message, regardless of the actual length of the URL.

You can then retweet the messages of others in order to publish them on your profile by automatically citing the authors. To do this, all you have to do is position yourself with the mouse pointer on the tweet to be reported on your profile and click on the button Retweet (the icon with the two stylized circular arrows) that appears below, type any comment to add to the retweet and click on the appropriate button to proceed with sharing. The original author of the retweeted message will be notified by Twitter, just as with conversations.

Another way to show appreciation for a content posted on Twitter is to add it to the ones you like, that is, add it to a list of tweets saved in the section I like it of your profile (but not republished in your timeline as it happens with retweets). To add a tweet to the ones you like, just click on heart symbol which is placed under the latter.

Direct messages

Twitter, just like Facebook, allows users to send themselves gods direct messages, otherwise known as DM, which can only be read by those directly involved and do not appear in the service timeline. To use them, just connect to the profile of the user to contact, press on theenvelope icon and type the message you wish to send privately in the appropriate text field displayed on the screen and press the button to send everything.

Note that in addition to plain text, you can also send images, videos and GIFs via private message. To do this, just press the appropriate button that is shown to you in correspondence with the section to type the text to be sent as a DM.

Direct messages don't have the 280 character limit like public tweets but, this is good to keep in mind, by default they can only be used by two people following each other.

If you are interested in accepting private messages even from those who do not follow you and / or are not really followers, you need to go to your account settings (under Settings and Privacy from the menu that appears by clicking on your photo) select the item related to Privacy and Security, put the check mark next to the item Get Direct Messages from anyone and save your changes.

Hashtag e trend

By now you should be pretty clear on how Twitter works. Before finally leaving you free to use the famous microblogging service, however, I know two other things that I think it is appropriate to talk to you: hashtag and trends. What is it about? Well, basically topics that are popular on Twitter at any given moment.

Going more specifically, the hashtag (also present on Facebook and Instagram, they are "labels" preceded by the hash symbol (#) that users can post in their tweets to make others understand that they are talking about a certain topic. Usually, they are used to discuss big events, news stories or topics that for whatever reason have won people's interest on Twitter.

For example, if a lot of Twitter users have their say about a big event by adding the hashtag #big event to their messages, anyone clicking on that hashtag will be able to view all the messages that talk about the topic.

Trends, otherwise known as trends, therefore, it is the hashtags and themes that are enjoying the most popularity on Twitter at a given moment. Find the list of Twitter trends in the sidebar located on the left side of the social network's home page.

Help and other information

I would say that now you have all the information you need to face this new “internet” adventure. However, if you still have any doubts or if you need even more detailed information about this or that other function, know that, clearly, in addition to being able to count on me, you can take advantage of the Service center Twitter which you can access by clicking here.

In the Help Center you will find all possible and imaginable information regarding Twitter, its functioning and any doubts, hitches and problems that may be encountered when using this social networking service. You can consult everything concerning the main topics by clicking on the links of interest at the top of the displayed Web page or you can type a specific reference keyword in the search field at the top.

How Twitter works

Audio Video How Twitter works
add a comment of How Twitter works
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.