Why YOU Should Twitter

I know. I thought that Twitter was silly and pointless too. But you know what? It is very handy, and you can do so much with it! I only use it from PCs and my iPhone, but almost any celly can twitter too. The more you update the better. I feel closer to several people from them just telling what they are doing all day. Plus, you can add links to what you are interested in too.

You have complete control over who can see your "tweets", so you don't have to open up to the world either. I use it with addons to update my Facebook and, as you can see, display on VOX too. You can "follow" me from that widget! Try it out! It's easy and fun. 🙂

HomeTwitter FAQFrequently Asked QuestionsFAQ

1.1. FAQ

What is it? 
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?  Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Developers can use the API to make Twitter tools of their own. Possibilities are endless!


How do I use it?
Tell us what you're doing in 140 characters or less!  Send your thoughts, observations, and goings-on in your day. Whether you're "eating an apple" or "looking foward to the weekend" or "Heading out of town" it's twitter-worthy.  Join us here.  All of your personal information including your phone number is, of course, confidential.


But… what is the point?
As it turns out, your best friend is probably interested in knowing if you're "loving the new Radiohead album." And yes, your Mom may want to know if you're "skipping breakfast in favor of a latte."  You might want to know if your significant other "feels like taking a roadtrip." Find out what your friends are doing; keep each other abreast of your quotidian rituals.


Do I need anything special to use Twitter?
In order to use Twitter you will need one of these things: an internet connection or a mobile phone.


How can I send updates to Twitter?
Send updates to friends and family about what you're doing in the way that works best for you.  Update in myriad ways:

  • from your phone
  • from IM
  • from your logged-in home page
  • from m.twitter.com.
  • from any of the third party applications on Twitter Fan Wiki, made by the talented folks who've utilized our API.


What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter?
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates.  How you receive the updates (on your phone, IM, or just on the web) is up to you.  You can set your following preferences based on device, and then set notification preferences for each person you follow.  Your followers are those who have elected to receive your twitters.


How do I know who I'm following?
Check the profile page of the person in question to be sure, or click the Following link from your logged in home page. You can change following preferences from the profile page, or by using phone/IM commands.   


How do I know who is following me?
Set up your email preferences to notify you when you have a new follower, or click the Followers link in your sidebar. 


Can I block spammers and other unsavory characters?
Yes.  At the bottom of the right hand sidebar on every profile page, there is a block link. Read more about this here.  If it's a spammer you're blocking, feel free to send us a heads up, always much appreciated!


Who reads my updates? 
It's up to you.  If you're hesitant to have strangers read your updates, in your settings page you can protect your updates so that only your friends will receive them.  When you sign up by phone, your updates are automatically protected until you choose otherwise.  When you sign up online, your updates will automatically go to both your friends and the public timeline, which is where all of the twitters go.  Don't be shy! 


How do I know if my friends are getting my updates on their devices?
You don't.  But, if they are on your friends list, they will always receive your updates on the web.


How long can my updates be?
We have a 140 character limit on Twitter updates.  If your update is longer than that, the full update will post to the web where it can be viewed in its entirety.  We'll still send the truncated version: only the first 140 characters will go to phones and IM. 


Can I update Twitter from my phone but not receive other people's updates?
Yes.  Once you add and verify your phone, you can use it to update without getting updates from others.  Make sure to set your updates to OFF on the web, or send OFF from chat or your phone. You can also use our mobile site,  m.twitter.com.


Can I turn updates on for some people and off for others?
Yes. use the follow and off commands.  FOLLOW + user name (follow krissy, for example) tells Twitter that you want a specific person's updates.  You can also click the follow link from their profile page on the web, or type the command into your chat window. Conversely, OFF + user name (off krissy) will disable updates from that person.


Can I edit my updates once they've posted to the web?
No. Once it goes, it goes! You can delete the message by clicking the small trash can, but no changing text, context, spelling errors, etc.     


How do I use Twitter with my phone?
Check out some popular questions about using Twitter with your phone here.


What are the Twitter phone numbers?
We currently have three short codes and one long code for those who twitter internationally. 

  • In the US, use 40404. 
  • In Canada, use 21212. 
  • In India, use 5566511.
  • Anywhere else, use +44 7624 801423


What is a short code?
Short codes are numbers made specifically for SMS and MMS messages. Twitter uses various short codes to send and receive your updates.  Sending a text message to a short code is just like sending a text message to a phone number. Short codes are made specifically for text messaging, so you can't send an email to a short code, or call a short code.  Charges for using our short codes are the same as standard text messaging rates to full-length phone numbers.


Does Twitter have a mobile site? 
Yep! Check out m.twitter.com on your mobile web browser.


Can I use Twitter with Instant Messaging (IM)?
Yes.  Visit your phone&IM Settings page, add and verify your IM address, and type ON; all of your Twitters and Direct Text messages will come to your chat window. Find out more about using Twitter with IM here.


Can I use the same phone number or IM address on multiple accounts?
No.  You can only use one phone number or IM address for one account.


How do I stop getting ALL twitter notifications?
Send OFF from your phone, IM, or any other device to stop getting Twitter updates at any time.


How can I turn Twitter on again?
The best way to turn Twitter on is to send the ON command from the device.  You can also turn your phone and chat updates on from the web from your home page or you can send ON to Twitter.


How do I invite people?
You can invite friends in lots of ways.  To invite people by phone number, send the word invite + the phone number of the person you want to add from your phone or from the Twitter site.  Don't add friends through chat yet; we're still working on that.  Your message should look like this: invite 4153172323

You can also invite people by email.


How do I add a friend who already uses Twitter? 
Each person's profile page has a follow button.  When you click it, you'll be following them, which means you can receive their Twitter updates on your phone or IM, as well as the web.  Set phone or IM notification preferences in the web drop down box.


Can new people without Twitter accounts follow me?
Yes. If you tell a friend to send follow + your username to Twitter, and they don't have an account, Twitter will walk them through mobile sign up.  Your friend can later go to the web and complete the sign up if they'd like, but they don't have to.


Why is there a star at the end of updates?
The star is a way for you to mark a post as favorite.  Click on the Favorites link in your sidebar to see all of the ones you've starred.   


What is tracking?
Tracking is an SMS or IM only feature that allows you to receive all twitters that match a word you're tracking.  For example, if you send track Obama, you will receive all updates that match "Obama." All updates sent from tracking will begin with parenthesis.  You can easily stop getting these messages by sending untrack Obama.


What's a Nudge?
A nudge is a friendly reminder to update Twitter.  Friends can nudge you (and you them) by sending nudge + username to Twitter, or by clicking the nudge link from a person's profile page.


What's an Auto-Nudge?
Auto-nudge is a self-reminding update feature.  In other words, we know you have busy lives and may not always remember to Twitter.  By popular demand, auto-nudge has come into being.  You can schedule a Twitter nudge if you haven't updated in 24 hours.


Can I send someone a private message?
Send a Twitter friend a Direct Text, which will go to their individual phone or web page.  From the web, click Message from the proile page or use the drop down box on your Direct Messages page. From your phone, use this command: D + username + message. HINT: a person's user name and screen name may differ. To ensure you have the right user name, go to the person's profile page and look in the URL at the top of the page.


Where can I find my Direct Messages?
From your logged in homepage, click Direct Messages in the side bar to see all of the messages you've received from Twitter friends.  To see the messages you've sent to others, click the Sent tab.


If I turn Twitter off, will I still get Direct Messages?
Yes. You will receive direct messages if you send OFF only once; to disable direct messages, send OFF twice.  You will always receive a copy of your message on your web archive, and in your email if you set it up in your preferences.   


What are @replies?
@replies are twitters directed at a specific user in response to one of their updates. When someone replies to your Twitter update by using @username, we collect their reply and catalog it the replies tab on your logged-in home page.  You can reply publicly to any update on Twitter by using the @username format. More information about this is here.


What is the difference between @username and Direct Message?
Messages sent via Direct Message (D + username +update) are private, and readable only by the person you send it to. Messages sent in the@username format are public.


Why wont my feed reader take my @replies RSS feed?
The @replies RSS feed requires authentication; most web-based feed readers don't support authentication.  If yours doesn't, you wont be able to see your @replies via rss feed.  Try the feed in a desktop feed reader, which usually supports authentication.


Does Twitter allow html in web updates?
No.  We escape all html for security purposes.  However, if you paste in a link that is less than 30 characters, we'll post it in its entirety.  If it's longer than 30 characters, we'll convert it to a tiny URL. 


Why does Twitter use tiny URL?
Tiny is tidy! Tiny URL takes long, ugly, 30+ characters links with an obscene amount of punctuation, such as ? or &, and converts them to slim, trim, tidy, pretty, Twitter links that mesh well with our 140 character limit.



Can I put Twitter on my blog?
Yes! You can put a Twitter badge on your blog, website, MySpace… anything that accepts Javascript or HTML.  You can even customize your Twitter badge to match! 


How do I customize my badge?
You can alter the html of your Twitter badge to display anything you want.  Ev makes his a subheading on his blog, Adam has his in the sidebar, and Jon has made it possible to view the last 10 updates instead of the most recent one.   


What is Celly?
Celly is a cute little guy that Ray made.  When someone updates the public time line, Celly pulls out their picture and displays their update.  You can check him out here


Is there a Twitter API?
Yes.  You can find it at the bottom of your logged-in homepage, or here.  


What is Twitterrific?
Twitterrific is an awesome little desktop application from Iconfactory that enables you to receive Twitters and post them without being on the site.  Sorry PC users, it's only for Macs.


How can I find more stuff like this?
Check out the Twitter Fan Wiki! This is an awesome resource put together by Twitter users for Twitter users, featuring stuff made by and for Twitter users! 


Does Twitter work with Facebook?
Yep! Send and receive updates from within Facebook, or use your Twitter updates as your Facebook status. 


I sent HELP to Twitter and got no response!

When you're lost, sending the HELP command should send you immediate instructions.  If you don't receive them, it's possible that you are using the wrong Twitter number, and therefore, not getting the message. If you send HELP from chat or phone with no results, check Satisfaction for the latest, email support@twitter.com, write us from the web here.


Is there a place where I can find out if there are problems with Twitter?

Yes.  Check Twitter's Satisfaction site. You can add twitter_status as your friend on Twitter, and receive the Twitter's status updates on the web, IM, or phone.  These updates will also be on the public time line here


Questions?  Write us.

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About mikeymikez

Interested in music, film, good books and Korean culture.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why YOU Should Twitter

  1. PHP Princess says:

    I love twitter. 😉 I use Twitter Mobile to post when I'm traveling.

  2. Mikey says:


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