More than 3.5 billion people are active on social media. In fact, the average person spends nearly two hours on these platforms every day!

It’s not surprising, though, given all that you can do with it. For one thing, you can use it to connect with family and friends. That’s not all, it’s also a great way for businesses to network.

What are some of the most popular social media platforms? Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Twitter is another big one. To give you a better idea, they have 330 million active users!

Want to know how to use the platform? Need some help understanding Twitter? We’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn more about this popular social platform!

What is Twitter? 

Twitter is a social networking service that allows users to post short messages known as “tweets.” More specifically, each message can be up to 140 characters in length.

What’s more, is that you can like and retweet other peoples’ tweets. If anything, the latter has become a convenient way to share information with others.

There’s also an option to follow other users. In doing so, you’ll be able to see their tweets on your timeline.

Who Invented Twitter? 

Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Noah Glass, and Evan Williams in 2006. At the time, smartphones were still relatively new; most people spent the majority of their time on their computers.

Wanting to be able to send messages to his friends more easily, Dorsey came up with the idea to create a cross-platform site that would work on computers, phones, and other devices.

By March 2006, he and his team had released a working prototype. From there, Twitter (known as Twttr back then) was released to the public in July 2006.

How to Use the Microblogging Platform 

Interested in using Twitter? Here’s a mini-guide on how to get started!

Creating Your Profile

To use Twitter, you’ll have to create an account. The first thing that you want to do is decide on a profile name. Ideally, you want to keep it short and memorable.

Once you’ve done that, you can upload a profile photo. If you don’t, you’ll show up as an egg. Don’t forget to add a cover photo as well—it’s a great way to customize your page!

From there, you’ll want to complete your bio. It’s the part of your profile where you get to tell others a little about yourself. Just keep it under 160 characters.

Finally, you can link to your website if you have one.

Following Other Users 

The next step is to follow others. You can follow your friends or celebrities—it doesn’t really matter! Assuming that you know their username, just type it into the search bar.

A list of matching users will come up, with their bios and profile pictures. Click on the follow button and you’ll be able to see their tweets on your timeline.

If you gave Twitter access to your phone contacts, it’ll also suggest people that you already know who are on the platform. That way, you can follow them easily.

Last but not least, there’s also a list of suggested users (based on your interests) that you can check out.

Using Hashtags 

What’s a hashtag? Basically, it’s a word or phrase with the pound symbol in front of it. It’s used on various social media platforms, including Twitter, to denote specific topics.

It also doubles as a searchable link. In other words, you can use it to find tweets that are related to the same topic. For example, you can click on a hashtag in a tweet to find posts that mention the same thing in real-time.

It’s perfectly fine to add multiple hashtags to a tweet. Just try not to go overboard! 

Using Twitter Notifications 

Want to get notified for things like follows, replies, likes, mentions, and retweets? You can set it so that you’ll get web notifications within your browser.

Simply go to the settings page—you should see a “Web notifications” option. Check the boxes for the notifications that you want to receive and click on “Save changes.”

Note: You may have to disable your pop-up blocker for the web notifications. You can read about how to allow pop ups on Mac here.

If you’re using the app on your phone, you can opt for push notifications. To do that, click on “Push notifications” on the “Notifications” page—you’ll be able to choose which types of notification you want to receive.

Posting a Tweet 

Select the “New Tweet” button near the top of the page to post a tweet. A small box will appear, from which you can type your message. Aside from text, you can also upload a photo, video—even a gif!

As you grow more comfortable, you can try interacting with other Twitter users. For example, you can click “reply” to reply to someone’s tweet. Alternatively, you can mention them by typing the “@“ symbol before their username.

Understanding Twitter 

And there we have it—a short guide on understanding Twitter. As you can see, there are quite a few things that you can do on the platform. It might take some getting used to at first, but you’ll get it eventually!

Want to learn more about Twitter? Then make sure to check out the rest of our site!