Twitter 101: Demystifying Tweets



Twitter is a social networking platform that requires messages – or Tweets – to be 140 characters or under. It sounds simple enough, but Twitter does have a slight learning curve.

Twitter Symbols

Some of the most asked Twitter questions include, “What’s a hashtag?” and “What’s the number sign used for?” Home Telecom can help demystify Twitter so you can get the most out of your social networking experience.

# - The number or pound symbol is a hashtag. A hashtag is a way to categorize messages. For example, if you are searching for the latest Broadway play, you can search Twitter for #broadwayplay. Twitter will then retrieve and display an entire list of tweets that relate to Broadway plays. There are typically no spaces between words when using or searching for a hashtag.

@ - This symbol is used on Twitter to respond back to someone via a reply. For example, if you want to answer to someone directly, find their @ name and place it at the beginning of the message, such as @HomeTelecom. The @ symbol can also be used to mention someone in a tweet, such as “... @HomeTelecom rocks as an internet provider!”

$ - The dollar sign is used to denote a financial hashtag. If you want to tweet about Twitter stock, type $TWTR and it creates a clickable link to the message.

^ - The hat or caret sign is used to distinguish different employees within an organization. For example, an organization may have one account, such as @HomeTelecom, but may have several employees that respond to tweets. Employees can use the ^ to sign their initials, such as ^AB. This helps indicate who sent the message on behalf of a company.

Twitter Abbreviations

We have covered the symbol portion of Tweets. Next, we move into the abbreviation section. Abbreviations are of the utmost importance on Twitter due to the character limitations.

AFAIK – As Far As I Know

CC – Carbon Copy, which means copying someone else using the @symbol.

CX – Correction

DM – DM, or Direct Message, allows you to send contacts private notes through Twitter. DM’s are also limited to 140 characters, but only the recipient can read the message.

FF – #followfriday pops up thousands of times on Friday. This allows people to recommend their followers in their tweets to other followers, encouraging them to follow them on Twitter. A FF is a meet and greet, without physically attending a party and shaking everyone’s hands.

HT – This can either mean Heard Through or Hat Tip. For example, “Yes, HT and I agree!” A Hat Tip example is, “More power to you, HT!”

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

Music Monday – This allows people to discover new music and share their favorite music by simply tagging @musicmonday.

MT – Modified Tweet

NSFW – Not Safe For Work usually implies graphic content or language.

OH – Overheard

PRT – Partial Retweet

SMH – Shaking My Head

TFTF – Thanks For The Follow

TIL – Today I Learned

TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read

TMB – Tweet Me Back

TFTR – Thanks For The Retweet

TT – Translated Tweet

W/ – With

What to Know about Tweeting

Tweeting is an easy process if you know your way around Twitter’s platform. If you want to get started Tweeting, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account.
  2. At the top of your home timeline, type your Tweet into the box. You may also type your Tweet by clicking on the “Tweet” button, which is located at the top of the navigation toolbar.
  3. All tweets must be fewer than 140 characters. Twitter makes this process simple and counts the letters and symbols for you. The remaining number of characters left in your Tweet shows up below the box. If it appears in red, you have too many characters.
  4. Click the “Tweet” button, and it will post your message to your profile.

Keep in mind that Twitter does allow you to post videos, photos and links, provided they do not exceed 140 characters of text.

How to Delete a Tweet

If you decide you want to delete a Tweet, you can easily do so by following these steps.

  1. Click on your “Profile” page.
  2. Locate the Tweet you wish to delete.
  3. Click on the more icon, which is an ellipsis, or three dots.
  4. Click “Delete Tweet.”

Liking Tweets

Twitter is all about sharing the love, so if you like someone’s Tweet, tap the heart icon and it will turn red. If you want to remove or undo a like, click the heart icon again.