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How To Read Twitter

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There’s many people in the world who have yet to jump on the twitter bandwagon. I thought that it might be worthwhile to give you a quick and simple guide that will help you decipher the ‘twitter-code’ should you ever be faced with it.

A little background: Twitter is used to share information and converse with others in the online world. I always hear the popular ‘I’ll never use twitter, I don’t feel the need to share what I’m having for breakfast’ one-liner. Reality is: not many use twitter to share their meal details. They do however share recipes, relevant articles, news, and general information. The beauty of twitter is being able to follow whomever you wish – and get a constant stream of curated content. Nowadays, news can break on twitter before you even hear it on the radio or watch it on TV.


The 3 Main Functions:
There’s 3 main ways twitter is used.

1. Replies (@) – This is when you see the @ sign in front of a username, followed by a message. My username is @coryjstewart, so whenever you put that in front of a tweet, you’re tweeting directly to me. Remember: none of this is private, so the world can see what you say.

Lisa replied you’re welcome to me after I thanked her for sharing a post that day.


2. Retweets (RT)- When a user re-posts someone else’s tweet. Often I’ll use the retweet to share an article or conversation with my commentary on it. Identify where the retweet starts with the ‘RT’ at the beginning of the message.

My favourite tech-news site, @mashable posted a link to an article, and I retweeted (RT) them with my commentary.


3. Hastags (#)- Hashtags are typically used to sort information into categories. Any time a # is placed in front of a word, it becomes a hashtag. Typically conferences, events, etc will all use the same hashtag so that all communication can be found easily if one were to search up a hashtag within twitter’s search engine. If you click on a hashtag within twitter, you’ll be able to see all information about that specific topic that is being shared on twitter.

This tweet will be sorted into the #Toronto conversations, as well as the #NYC conversations.


There’s obviously plenty more to know about twitter – but this a starting point to understanding some of the basics. I’ll try to cover a little ground each week – so y’all are up to speed! In the meantime, what’s your username on twitter? Share in the comments so I can follow you!

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