Not only is Twitter one of the most popular social media platforms, it’s one of the most active websites in cyberspace and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. This micro-blogging social network employs ‘tweets’ that are 260 characters max to interact with other users, and these tweets make heavy use of symbols, abbreviations and acronyms. Twitter lingo can be confusing for those new to Twitter. So to help you master the vernacular and be “down with the yoof“, take a look at this guide.
Twitter Menu Symbols
Home – This where you can click if you want to return to the default twitter page (the one when you first logged in). From here you can see the most recent tweets from people you follow on your feed as well as interact with them.
Explore – From explore you can find tweets and accounts from users who you perhaps don’t follow but may be interested in. Twitter will try to compile lists and categories of what it feels you would be interested in but if you want to find something more specific you can search for keywords in the search bar once on the explore page.
Notifications – Whenever someone interacts with your tweets (like, retweet or comment) you will receive a notification. They can be viewed here under this menu. You can also set up alerts so you will be notified when ever a particular account of your choosing tweets. they too will show up here.
Messages – Twitter isn’t just a platform for casting out short statements out into the digital world. You can also send messages or direct mail/messages (DM’s) to other accounts. They will show up under this menu and they are private to both you and the other user in the message. Consider it like an email or text conversation.
Bookmarks – If you come across a tweet which you particularly enjoyed or would like to return to at a future time you can bookmark them. The nature of Twitter is that most tweets are short lived and disappear into the abyss of millions of tweets posted daily. Bookmarking is your way of keeping those tweets without having to dig around for it.
Lists – A great tool for keeping up with tweets from certain accounts without the need to set up notifications. A list is simply a group you can create either publicly or privately (depending if you want the account to know you have listed them) where you can track and see everything that account tweets. It is particularly useful for watching and/or keeping up with everybody from clients or competitors to inspirational accounts or influencers.
Profile – This will take you to our own profile. From here you won’t see tweets from the feed of people you follow but rather only your own content. It’s a great way to get an insight to how others view your own profile. You can edit the design, colour scheme and bio from this page as well as get an overview of your own tweets easier.
More – As its name suggests you will have more options available from this menu. You can navigate to places such as, analytics, moments, logging out and even Twitter Ads should you need to set any up.
Composing A Tweet
Add A Gif – A Graphic Interchange Format, or more commonly referred to as a Gif, is a way of emoting a post or tweet. Usually consisting of a “video like” series of images designed to only last a few seconds and with the aim of emoting a message. Due to it’s stop-start format the quality is lesser than a video but the message is none the less as efficient.
Add An Emoji – They’ve been around for a while, they have even got their own Pixar blockbuster movie. Emojis are simple ways to express emotion or symbolism when you don’t want/need to use a word. As the old saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words.
Character Counter – With only 260 characters allowed within a tweet finding the right way to say something in the limit isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Well Twitter take out the need to count your own characters with an inbuilt counter. When the little blue line fully encircles the circle you have reached the limit. As long as it hasn’t turned red you are within the limit to post.
Add An Additional Tweet – Sometimes one tweet isn’t enough to say everything you need. You can add a second or third tweet with this icon. Don’t worry either as Twitter will post them and link them together so anybody reading one will have the others right underneath so it is easy and clear to understand.
Symbols While Viewing Tweet
Hashtag – Also known as an ‘octothorpe’, the hashtag is one of the most prominent symbols to be used on social media. Debutting on Twitter, it eventually evolved to be used on Facebook and Instagram too. They are used to identify key topics and keywords relating to a certain event or subject and connects you to other posts and tweets that have used the same keyword e.g. ‘#Twitter’.
At Sign – Commonly called the ‘commercial at’, ‘strudel’ and ‘whirlpool’, the ‘AT symbol has no official name. The symbol was used in 1972 in electronic messages for email addressing to separate the user’s name from the domain name. For example: ‘email@example.com’ – the user’s name: ‘tillisonconsulting’ and the domain name: ‘tillison.co.uk’. Twitter uses this symbol to prefix usernames such as ‘@TillisonConsulting’ for example. The symbol allows a user to ‘tag’ another Twitter account and notifies them that they’ve been mentioned.
Retweet – This symbol means to share, forward or re-post a tweet sent by another user. Re-tweeting a tweet posts that tweet to your Twitter account. It indicates support of that user, that it’s good content, that you agree with it or even if you deem it newsworthy to pass on. In order to retweet a tweet – all you have to do is click on that symbol.
Like – Simply clicking on this symbol below a tweet indicates that you ‘like’ the tweet, similar to a Facebook ‘like’. This action was originally a ‘star’ symbol to ‘favourite’ the tweet, but the stars were replaced with hearts in 2015.
Which Twitter symbols do you use?