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Founded in 2006, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging platform that allows broadcasting of short burst messages to the world, with the intent to share information easily and effectively with the audience. By limiting a message to 140 characters, Twitter facilitates information sharing in a quick manner. Twitter is a platform where people can submit, share, and read short messages called 'tweets' while having the option to get the recent tweets from others automatically to their twitter user dashboard by selecting the ‘follow’ option.

Where It All Started

Twitter started off initially as a podcasting company Odeo before foraying into the microblogging service.

Terminologies Every Twitter Novice Should Know

The key to navigate in the world of Twitter is to know the vernacular. The commonly used terminologies are listed below:


Standard messages on Twitter that contain 140 characters or less.


A tweet that has been posted ‘as is’ by the other twitter users is a retweet. In almost every case, a retweet defines the popularity of a tweet.


The symbol ‘#’, which finds its way in every online conversation nowadays is used to tag keywords or topics for easy search.


Tweets can include replies and mention of other users by adding the @ sign before their username.


This terminology designates your username and the accompanying URL.


People using Facebook might have heard about news feed. The same thing is termed as feed in Twitter’s vocabulary. It denotes the stream of tweets from the accounts followed by the user that floods their home screen.


One advantage of using Twitter is Lists. This feature gives the user prerogative of creating groups or curated lists that shows tweets of all the users in that list.

Direct Message

Also referred to as DM, this represents Twitter's direct messaging system among users for private communication.

Why is Twitter popular?

Twitter caters to today’s attention deficit world, providing an ideal platform that injects short powerful ideas into the mind of readers. The onus is on writers to present compelling ideas with words that are easy to understand. The size cap in Twitter promotes clever use of language and hence evokes creativity. The ease of use and its overall impact has helped Twitter gain traction and permeate through the minds of the people cutting across the age group.

Why do people tweet?

There are umpteen reasons why people 'tweet', some of them include attention, self-promotion, vanity, and boredom. However, the majority utilizes this microblogging platform as a recreational thing. They are eager to broadcast their musings and revel in how many people retweeted or liked it. But as humorous content gets popular on Twitter, a vast majority that share useful information is overshadowed. And that defies the value of this powerful social media platform. It was started to empower people to become journalists of life, however to every intelligentsia’s dismay, Twitter also acts as a platform to share jokes. 

It may seem that Twitter, over the years, has only managed to position itself as a recreational entity. But that cannot be any farther from the truth. The immense power of this platform was realized when it stirred revolutions after revolutions. One such example is the Arab Spring. Through Twitter, Arab Spring activists were not only able to gain popularity, but also played quintessential role in leadership change at the country level.

Can Twitter be used as a marketing tool?

Gone are the days when people used to advertise on a newspaper to drive sales. Earlier, large organizations invested heavily on TV commercials to promote their product in the market. Though the trend has managed to survive, Twitter gradually has cemented its position as an effective marketing tool. Today's internet-savvy world prefer advertising that is faster and is less intrusive with the capability of being turned off or on at will.


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