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Twitter Terminology and Lingo

Learn the Language of Twitter


The terminology of Twitter can often be confusing for those new to Twitter. There are basic terms and lingo that you want to be familiar with as you venture into your Twitter journey. This will help you to understand other on Twitter as well as enable you to engage with confidence.

Tweet - A twitter post or update - this is known as a tweet. There are some that mistake this for being called a Twit, proper terminology is Tweet.

@ - The @ sign is a way of referring to others on Twitter. You can use the @ sign to send a public message to someone or to refer to or talk about someone else in a tweet.. The @ is useful in helping you find those that are talking about you. For example @laura_lake means someone is talking to me or about me.

Retweet - Retweet means sharing a Tweet of one user with your followers. Proper etiquette is to use the retweet feature when sharing someone else’s tweet rather than to just post it as your own tweet. A Retweet looks like this RT @laura_lake."

Reply - A reply is when you respond to someone's tweet. It looks like this @laura_lake. For example you could say “@laura_lake I'm taking your Twitter bootcamp series” and that would be a tweet that is a message to me that I would see.

Direct Message - A direct message is different than a reply because it is private. You can only send a direct message to someone if they are following you. A direct message looks like this: DM laura_lake or D laura_lake depending on the method of messaging that you are using.

Hashtags or # - This is the most common term that people get confused by. Hashtags are words that begin with the number sign and represent a topic or an event. You can learn more about hashtags at Hashtags.org. This is a great resource for tracking and finding what different hashtags mean, as well as monitoring their popularity. Hashtags provide Twitter users with a way to search for information on specific topics and events.

Follower - A follower is someone that follows you on Twitter. This does not have to be a reciprocated relationship - a person can follow you without you following them. However, it's best if you follow your followers back, this way you can both engage with one another.

Blocking - Blocking is when you block a user and they are unable to follow you. You will also no longer see their tweets in your Twitter stream. This is different than unfollowing. When you unfollow someone, it means that they can still follow you, but you are not following them.

Un-following - Unfollow means that are not longer following a user on Twitter. They, however, can still follow you.

Tweeple, Tweeps, Twits, Twerson, Twitterai - These are people who are known as people, members and users of Twitter.

Twitterverse - The ever-growing universe of twitter.

Twitterspeak- The language that we use on Twitter to speak to one another.

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