UNIT 8 : What is Twitter?

Understanding Twitter
Most people know that Twitter is a micro-blogging network of real-time posts that are limited to 140 characters or less, but few people understand how they might benefit from Twitter. The truth is that Twitter is used by many people for many different things. So what is Twitter, and why should you care?

Watch the video to get a better idea of what Twitter is all about.

Twitter's evolution
Today's Twitter is now less focused on “What are you doing?” and more about “What’s going on?” It has emerged as a source for discovery, with a focus on sharing relevant information and engaging in conversation. Many people now think of Twitter as a news source rather than a social network, using it for networking and discussion based on their own interests.
Since launching in 2006, Twitter has seen incredible growth as more people have discovered its usefulness. According to a survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 19% of online adults use Twitter (up from 8% in 2010), and that percentage grows to 35% among online adults aged 18-29. There are always new people joining Twitter, so there's always a lot of interesting discussion to follow.

Create a Twitter Account

Before you sign up
Your profile on Twitter is public, so it is important for you to consider how you want to be represented and viewed by the world before you sign up.
Consider your profile 
  • Twitter handle: Your Twitter handle, or user name, can say just as much about who you are as it does about why you are on Twitter. Try to create a Twitter handle that is unique and catchy, in addition to being easy to remember and spell so others can connect with you. Keep in mind that it is public, so you may not want to use your full name.
  • Profile picture: Make sure the profile picture you use represents exactly who you want to be on Twitter. For example, If your motivation for using Twitter is for networking with other professionals, then a photo of you partying at Mardi Gras isn’t appropriate. If protecting your privacy is important, then you may want to use agraphic avatar in place of a personal photo. However, you should keep in mind that Twitter is about relationships, and some people might not feel as connected to company logos and graphics.
  • Profile bio: Your bio can include a quick, one- or two-line description of who you are. Because space is at a premium, descriptive text that uses powerful imagery can paint a unique picture of who you are. Some people create bios with contradictory words in order to be humorous, informational, and memorable with very little said. If you are promoting yourself or a business, you may want to include your web address or other contact information, but keep in mind that this information is public to everyone on the Web.
  • Who you follow and lists: Others can also see who you follow and the lists you create, so you may want to be selective about who you choose to follow. Twitter feeds that are racist, sexist, inappropriate, or otherwise polarizing can reflect poorly on you. Avoiding controversial feeds is especially important if you are networking professionally or looking for a job.
Think before sharing
As with all social media sites, you should assume that everything you post is public and accessible to anyone forever. Twitter is great for sharing and connecting, but it's not so great for private or extremely personal communication. Twitter does allow you to set privacy for your tweets, protecting them from being seen by anyone other than the followers you have approved to view them. However, any of your approved followers can retweet one of your tweets, thereby making it public, so your protection is limited.
To create an account:
  1. Go to www.twitter.com.
  2. Locate the New to Twitter? box. Enter your full nameemail address, and desired password into the form. As with all online services, it's important to choose a a strong password—in other words, it should be difficult for someone else to guess but easy for you to remember. Visit Passwords: The First Step to Safetyin our Internet Safety tutorial for more information.
  3. Click the Sign up for Twitter button.
  1. form will appear. You will need to confirm your information and choose a user name that hasn't already been taken.
  2. Uncheck the box next to Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits if you do not want Twitter to access your browsing history.
  3. Read through the Terms of Service, then click Create my account.
  1. The Twitter welcome page will appear. This page will help you set up your account. Click Next to continue.
  1. You can now start choosing who to follow. A list of people you can follow will appear. You must choose five people to follow before clicking Next.
  1. Twitter will also suggest people to follow based on your interests. To continue, select five people to follow, then click Next.
  1. Optional: You can automatically find people you know by selecting a service you use, like an email account. For example, if you have a Gmail account, Twitter can look for your Gmail contacts who are already using Twitter. Click Skip this step at the bottom of the page if you would like to do this later.
  1. Optional: You can add a profile picture and bio to your account. If you feel comfortable with this process, you can upload a photo now or you can Skip this step. We will explain how to customize your profile later in the lesson.
  1. Your new Twitter homepage will appear.
To confirm your email address:
At this point, Twitter will send a confirmation email to the email address you provided. Before you can access all of Twitter's features, you'll need to confirm your email address.
  1. Sign in to your email account.
  2. Open the confirmation message from Twitter: "Confirm your Twitter account, user name!"
  3. Click the link to confirm your account.
  1. Your Twitter homepage will open. You now have full access to Twitter, and all future notifications will be sent to the email address you provided.

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