Twitter Terms to Know-150x150

New to Twitter? Here are the words to know to get you off and tweeting!

Feed: A regularly updated list of current tweets. Your profile page includes a chronological order of your tweets, starting with your most recent. Your home page includes a feed of the most recent tweets of the people you follow.

Follow Friday (or #followfriday or #FF): See meme.

Handle: Your Twitter username. (For details on what to consider when selecting a Twitter handle, read “Getting Started on Twitter.”)

Hashtag (#): A topic grouping on Twitter that begins with a hash symbol. For example, #SXSW11 is the hashtag for the South by Southwest music festival in 2011. Hashtags make it easy to search a topic and increases its chances of showing up under Twitter’s Trends. Creating a hashtag for a conference can be especially helpful because attendees can easily see all the tweets related to the conference.

Message (formerly called a Direct Message or DM): Non-public messages between you and another person. They won’t be published in your feed. You can only message someone if they’re following you.

Meme: A concept that gains popularity via the Internet. On Twitter, this is usually an activity such as Follow Friday. To participate, include #followfriday or #FF in a tweet along with the Twitter users that you recommend others should follow.

Mentions: When somebody mentions another’s handle in a tweet. This is done by placing the @ symbol before a handle. The tweet will show up in their @Mentions tab.

Retweet (RT): When your tweet includes another’s original tweet. Typing RT and their handle credits them. For example: “RT @LinenLadyRentals Our purple linens are renting like hotcakes. Must be the it-color this year!”

Trending: The current most-used terms on Twitter. You’ll find them on the left-hand side of your Twitter page.

Tweeple or Tweeters: People using Twitter.

Tweet: A 140-character message sent via Twitter.

URL shorteners: A service that shortens URL web addresses while maintaining their linkability, giving users more space to write about the link they’re tweeting. Twitter initially did not offer this service, but now they now do.