Twitter is a free social media service, and one of the top ten most popular websites on the internet today. Through 2012, the registered users of Twitter increased to 500 million. It is one of the greatest services online which serves for social networking, business, marketing, information and entertainment. Following is an easy guide to understand what it is.
The primary activity taking place at Twitter is the broadcast of short messages comprising not more than 140 characters. These short messages are called tweets. The tweets are mostly public and can be viewed by anyone upon searching.
The registered users of Twitter, called Twitterers, can subscribe to other Twitterers and receive their tweets right on their Twitter account's homepage. This subscription is called "following" in the Twitter terminology. The feed of tweets from everyone you follow, also called stream, shows up on the homepage after you log in to your account. Your tweets can also be protected or limited to a certain audience of your choice. In this case, they do not appear in public search results, but only reach the followers approved by the account holder.
DM or Direct Message feature enables you to deliver a 140 character message to someone who is following you. This message will not be shown to anyone except the receiver.
The limit of 140 characters for broadcasting a message was imposed because Twitter was oriented towards mobile phone compatibility right from the beginning. Although the phones are capable of receiving way lengthier instant messages these days, yet the tradition of the primitive short messages is still kept alive by Twitter as its distinguishing mark. You can receive tweets from the Twitter users of your choice right in your mobile phone inbox. You can also reply a specific tweet, broadcast your own tweets, or send a direct message to your followers via your phone's regular SMS (Short Messaging Service).
Blogging, as you may know, is publishing your thoughts and ideas on your online webpages. But the blogs normally contain somewhat detailed content on a topic, called posts. On the other hand, microblogging means updating a page with rather smaller units of your content. Twitter is also defined as one of the most successful platforms of microblogging. This means that every tweet from a Twitterer can be consider a tiny blog post and every profile is a kind of microblog on which these posts are published. This aspect of Twitter is especially attractive to those who want to maintain a strong online presence though blogging but cannot manage to publish lengthier stories due to lack of time, writing skills, etc.
Twitter is both, a social media service and a business and marketing tool. Its uses range from sharing interesting, crazy and hilarious content with your friends to connecting with celebrities to getting information to marketing your business products and services. People tweet about as many things as the interests, passions and aspirations of humans may be.