What is Twitter?

What is Twitter?

Launched in 2006, Twitter is an online Social Networking and Micro-Blogging Service accessible from internet explorers, mobile applications and SMS.

The premise of Twitter is the ability for users to send, read and share what is called “Tweets” which are text messages that are limited to 140 characters per message.

Since its launch in 2006, this social network grew to over 500 million users including an average of 200 million users that send over 400 million tweets a day with over 1.6 billion search queries a day. Around 60% of Twitter interactions happen over mobile devices.

 

The word Twitter comes from the frequent chirping sound made by birds,which explains the image of a bird used in the Twitter logo.

All Tweets are public by default unless a user chooses the “protected” option which only allows his/her tweets to be visible to those he accepts.

Twitter also includes what is called a “timeline”, which aggregates tweets and updates from the accounts the user is “following”. The social network also allows tweets to include links to videos/photos as well as article links and more. A user can reply to a tweet or share it on his own account in what is called a “retweet”.

 

What is Twitter Terminology?

For a new twitter user, the “Twitte-verse” is filled with terminology that may be hard to understand, we break down the twitter terminology for you.

Tweet

A standard message on Twitter containing 140 characters or less.

Retweet

A tweet shared to a user’s followers.

Hashtag

The # symbol is used to tag keywords or topics in a tweet to make it easily found in search queries.

Mention

Tweets can include replies and mentions of other users by preceding their usernames with the @ sign.

Handle

This is someone’s username, also always found at a constant URL, Ex: https://twitter.com/Nobullying14

Feed/Timeline

This is the stream of tweets on your Twitter homepage comprised of all accounts you follow.

Direct Message (DM)

If someone just said they DMed you on Twitter, it means someone just sent you a private message. The rules are that for you to interact privately with a user, you both need to be following each other.

Also called a DM, this represents Twitter’s direct messaging system for private communication amongst users.

What is Twitter ‘s Security Issue?

Hacking

If you are on Twitter, you have probably seen or read someone tweeting about their account being hacked.

One major piece of news highlights broke out in April 2013 to highlight Twitter’s security problem. A Hacker had managed to get into Associated Press’ Verified Twitter account and sent a false tweet that said “Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

As expected, investor panicked and the Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) plunged in minutes. By the time the Associate Press’ team managed to tweet that the verified account had been compromised and that it was in fact a false tweet, it had become too late and the INDU dropped by more than 140 points, all from a single tweet.

According to security experts, hacking twitter account happens when users use easily guessable passwords or by accessing their account over public networks and from shared computers.

Cyber Bullying/Abuse

Twitter users, especially ones with a big number of followers have been suffering from Cyber Bullying and threats of abuse. Celebrities and ordinary folk are quite familiar with the fact that they can fall victim to a tirade of abuse threats or simply mean talk on Twitter.

 

Lately, Twitter introduced a “report tweet” button in an attempt to counter the waves of cyber bullying and abuse. It also released a comprehensive guide to fighting online abuse.

If you feel you need to learn more about Cyber Bullying and Online Abuse, we invite you to check our articles on Being Safe on Twitter, Decoding the Internet And Social Media, and Internet Safety Tips Everyone Should Consider

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