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The Twitter Glossary - helping break down the jargon!

Twitter is full of strange symbols, words and phrases. There's a very good reason for this as it keeps it all very short and concise. Twitter was deisgned around the humble text message or SMS (Short Message Service) which is why it's limited to 140 characters. Twitter has its own language and understanding it is one of the biggest hurdle to new tweeters.  Here's a quick reference guide from us to you. 

Avatar: Your profile picture on Twitter.
Bio: 160 characters describing what you're about. You can change this at any time should your direction or reason for tweeting change.
Block: To block someone on Twitter means they can’t follow you or add you to their lists, and you will not see their mentions. Bear in mind that you can still be seen when someone is not logged in to that account.
DM: Direct Messages are private messages on Twitter sent between two people. No one else can see these. You can only send a DM to someone if they are following you.
Favourite: You can 'favourite' a tweet to keep for later - often symbolised by a star. Favouriting a tweet is a great way to save a tweet for later viewing. Favourites are stored on your profile.
#FF: #FF stands for ‘Follow Friday’. Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF.
Follow: You can choose to follow people on Twitter. When you follow someone they will appear in your timeline.
Follower: A follower is another Twitter user who has followed you and chosen to view your updates (tweets) on Twitter. You will appear in their timeline.
Following: Your following number reflects the quantity of other Twitter users you have chosen to follow.
Hacking: This is gaining unauthorised access to an account via phishing, password guessing, or session stealing. A common way is to request you click on a link in a DM.
Hashtag #: The # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. Hashtags group messages together or are a heading for a message. E.g. #WarwickRocks.
List: These are groups of other Twitter users. You can tie specific individuals into a group on your Twitter account. E.g. ‘TweetUp’.
Mention: When someone 'mentions' you on Twitter they use your @name in a tweet. You will be able to see this in your interactions or notifications. It's simply so people can tell you that they are talking about you or to you.
MT: Similar to RT, an abbreviation for ‘Modified Tweet’. Normally used in front of the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message with modifications (for example shortening a tweet).
Profile: Simply your little space on Twitter, your profile page displays the information about you. It’s comprised of your photo, your information and weblink. You will also have your tweets, followers and people you follow listed here too.
RT: Retweets are simply tweets sent on by other people on Twitter.  A tweet can be simply shared to your followers by pressing 'RT'. You will see tweets from people you DON'T follow if people you DO follow RT them. It's like copy & paste for Twitter. Can be a noun or a verb!
Timeline: This is your live updates on Twitter - everyone you follow and their updates in one place. This is live and happening now. It’s simply a real-time list of tweets.
Trending topics: A word, phrase or topic that is posted (tweeted) multiple times. Usually the most talked about topics being discussed.
Tweet: An update on Twitter from a user comprising of 140 characters (letters, symbols or punctuation).
Unfollow: To stop following another Twitter user. Their tweets no longer show up in your home timeline. This isn’t as drastic as Facebook!


If you need help with your Twitter then contact us now. We can get your Twitter working for you and your business.


My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

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Leave a comment

Posted by Pamela Fabianska on
Great reminder 4technhobes or techno idiots like me! Thanks.#leamlive
Posted by Warwicktweetup on
Thanks Pamela, glad we can help (nice hashtag :)
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