First of all, what exactly IS Twitter?! Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets.
So, if you want to know about what’s going on in the world right now, go to Twitter. The platform is public by default, so access to information really is at your fingertips. You can follow anything and everything from real-time breaking news and entertainment, to sports, politics and everyday interests all in the same space.
What’s the deal with the hashtag?
The hashtag is used to organise and filter information in one easy to follow stream. Interested in climate change? Simply type in ‘#climatechange’ with a preceding hashtag and you’ll get everything about that specific topic from lots of different people, brands, causes, influential figures, thought leaders and relevant accounts. You can either scroll down the search results and/or join in with the conversation using that same hashtag.
How to Make a Twitter Account on Desktop
Step 1: Go to Twitter.com. The “full name” that you provide will be your display name, but unlike Facebook, you can change your display name to whatever you want as many times as you want.
Your username, also known as a “handle”, is the name your followers use when sending replies, mentions, and Direct Messages. Twitter handles appear after the @ sign in your profile URL and it must be unique to your account. A Twitter name, on the other hand, is simply there to help people find the company they’re looking for. For example – my username is ‘Vin Gill’ and my handle is @digitalvingill. Usernames must be fewer than 15 characters in length and cannot contain “admin” or “Twitter”, in order to avoid brand confusion.
Step 2: Enter your phone number – provides security and authentication in case you ever lose access to your account.
Step 3: Pick a secure password.
Step 4: Choose your interests. Twitter will give you suggestions of accounts you can follow. Once followed, their content will appear in your Twitter stream. You can skip this stage if you’re unsure who to follow yet.
Step 5: Once you’re in, click on the grey silhouette next to the “Tweet” button on the top right of your screen. Click “Settings & Privacy.” At the top, you can pick a username which will be your ‘Twitter handle.’
Step 6: Pick an avatar. The default picture is a silhouette. Don’t be boring – give yourself an online presence and update! Click the silhouette and head to “Profile” and then click “Edit Profile” on the right underneath the blue bar. You can update your header photo from this place, too. Make sure you read Twitter’s rules for avatar images to make sure what you pick is not in violation.
Step 7: Write your bio. This is the short blurb that lets potential followers know who you are and what you’re likely to tweet.
Your first tweet:
Remember: all tweets are a maximum of 280 characters. If 280 characters isn’t enough, then you can ‘thread’ your tweets together in….you got it, a thread. Just type your first tweet using the “Tweet” button, and hit the + button on the bottom right. This will string together a series of tweets where you can make a larger point.
Don’t worry if you’re stuck on what to write as your very first tweet. Check out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet:
Get started by understanding some of the Twitter basics below. Download the graphic by clicking on the image below.