Learn the basics

To learn how to use Twitter you have to understand Tweets. They are public messages of 140 characters that may include photos, videos and links to the web The ‘at’ symbol precedes your Twitter username. They link to user profiles The hashtag symbol precedes topics that people are talking about on Twitter. They link to search results Twitter photos let you share moments without needing a single character of text You can reply to any public Tweet on Twitter to join a conversation Retweets let you share someone else’s message with more people Mark Tweets as favorites to thank people for Tweets or save them for later

Master the lingo

Twitter packs a lot in each tiny Tweet. Learn what each symbol means and how to use it.

Good things, small packages

Every Tweet fits into a space that's under 140 characters. Just the right size for a big idea, a headline or a timely observation.

Lights, camera, tweet!

More than words can fit into a Tweet. Images, videos and links now expand right in your Tweets to show the best of what you have to share.

What’s a #hashtag?

A hashtag is any word or phrase with the # symbol immediately in front of it. This symbol turns the word into a link that makes it easier to find and follow a conversation about that topic.

What’s in a name?

Your @username is your unique identity on Twitter. People will use your @username to mention you in Tweets and to send you messages.

Instant connection

Start a conversation with someone by replying to their Tweet. If you see an interesting Tweet, add your opinion by clicking the reply icon.

Worth a retweet

You can pass along someone's Tweet by clicking the retweet icon.

Retweeting is a lot like forwarding an email — you'll send along someone else's Tweet to all of your followers.

A few of your favorite tweets

Favoriting sends a brief, positive notification back to the author that you liked their Tweet. Click the star to mark a Tweet as a favorite.

Learn more about Twitter

What’s in a Tweet?

Inside a Tweet you’ll see photos and videos from people you know or behind-the-scenes moments from the biggest stars. You can link to news stories, blogs, websites and apps.

How does it work?

Discover Twitter

Why 140 characters?

Twitter was born as a mobile service. It was designed to fit into the character limit of a text message, and Twitter still works on any SMS-ready phone.

Brevity keeps Twitter fast-paced and relevant by encouraging people to Tweet in the moment and to focus on the essential idea they are trying to communicate.

Where do Tweets appear? Who reads them?

Once you Tweet, it is publicly posted on your Twitter profile. In addition, people can follow your stream of Tweets called a timeline so that they automatically appear in their own timelines.

What is following?

Subscribing to someone’s stream of Tweets is called “following”. To start following someone, click the Follow button next to their name, and you’ll see their Tweets as soon as they post something new.

You don’t have to ask permission to follow someone. Anyone on Twitter can follow or unfollow anyone else at any time. This leads to something unexpected: open and fun conversations that get people talking.

How do I find people to follow?

Start by following people you know. Search for their names or their @handles or find them all instantly by importing your contacts. Then look for your favorite sports teams, actors, local newspapers, writers or schools. Lastly, look for accounts of people sending the type of Tweets you’d like to receive: breaking news, celebrity gossip or professional updates.

How do I send a private message?

A private message (sometimes called a DM or direct message) is a private Tweet between two people who follow each other. To read your messages, click on the envelope icon on your profile.

What is your profile?

Your profile is where you show people what they can expect from your Tweets and why they should follow you. Add a photo, short description and background image to give the world a taste of your personality.