At a glance: A glossary of Twitter terms


| Zoom

(AP) - What's in a tweet? To start, 140 characters, including spaces. Then there are the acronyms, symbols and Twitter-specific lingo that could look like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Twitter Inc. started trading publicly Thursday, so you might be wondering what the service is about. Here's a glossary of some of the most common Twitter terms you might encounter, defined in 140 characters or less.

_ Tweet: That 140-character message sent out on Twitter. Also, the sound a small bird makes.

_ Follow: Find an account you like? Click "follow" to have their tweets show up in your feed.

_ RT: Stands for retweet, or resubmitting someone else's tweet to your followers.

_ HT: Hat Tip, means you are sharing a link or idea someone else shared first, so you're giving them credit. Not quite a retweet.

_ DM: Direct Message, a private message sent to another user. You can send it only to people who follow you.

_ (at): Add before someone's name to reply to them publicly. It's only shown in the feeds of those who follow both of you.

_ Egg: Unless you upload a profile photo, an egg will show up in its place. Often a sign of a spam account, or someone new to Twitter.

_ (hash): Hashtags are a way to make posts searchable by topic. Just insert in front of a word, but these days (hash)-less words are indexed, too.

_ FF: Follow Friday, Twitter tradition where users recommend other accounts that people should follow. Happens on Friday.

_ Trends: Popular topics people are talking about on Twitter at any given time, but not the most popular ever. Can change based on location.

_ Promoted tweet, account or trend: Advertisements. Distinguished by an orange arrow and the word "Promoted" next to a tweet, trend or topic.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Underwhelming
    Dave Ross envisioned an Imperial Directive saying borders are open, but that didn't happen

  • Playmaker Needed
    Who can the Seahawks absolutely count on to make a play in a big spot Sunday?
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear GeekWire on KIRO Radio
Join Todd Bishop and John Cook weekends on KIRO Radio to talk Seattle technology.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.