what the heck is Twitter?

TwitterLogoTwitter is a social media site where members can share information by sending out quick messages called “tweets”. It’s often referred to as a “micro blog”. The “micro” is because there is a limit to how long your “tweet” can be. A “tweet” (post) is confined to only 140 characters at one time.
(I talk a lot more than that on my blog)

On Twitter, you have “followers” which is essentially the same concept as having “friends” on Facebook, except on Twitter you can “follow” anyone that has an open account – your favourite hockey player, your favourite movie star, your favourite burger joint – you don’t have to request permission to follow.

Famous people LOVE twitter because they can stay in touch with their fans. It’s a GREAT media tool.  

It’s important to note the difference between “open” and “private” Twitter accounts.  People who have accounts that are “open” have no control over who is “following” them. That is a key difference between Twitter and Facebook.

Now, that may be okay for famous people or businesses but may not be okay for you. You may want to have only friends and family follow you on Twitter so you will need to set your Twitter account to be more private.

Good news. It’s easy to set your account privacy to control who can follow you.

Go to “settings” > “account” > “Tweet privacy” and check the box “protect my tweets”

Don’t forget to “save changes”.

Now people will have to request to follow you, Tweets will be visible only to followers you’ve approved and other users will not be able to re-tweet your Tweets.

You can also “block” a follower if necessary. This could come in handy.

It’s possible to have more than one Twitter account – maybe one that’s open for business and one that’s protected for personal. You will need two separate emails though, only one email address can be linked to a Twitter account.

Now these statistics actually surprised me – Facebook is still more popular than Twitter. I thought it was the other way around. 2014 numbers have Facebook at 1.3 billion monthly active users with Twitter at 271 million active users per month.

Twitter, however, is more popular with mobile users than Facebook – 86% of Twitter users are on mobile devices versus versus only 68% of Facebook users on mobile devices.

Using Twitter on your cell phone makes it easy to send instant message updates to groups of people. You can tweet to your followers an update on driving conditions or how long the line is at Starbucks. Or when Babs has posted something new on her blog navigating50plus.com.

Learn more about social networking like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SnapChat, Facetime, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and Periscope.

I don’t have a Twitter account yet but I am considering setting one up for this blog. It would be kind of cool to “Tweet” some thoughts on the go.

Aside: We were out one day and I saw a sign at the Dairy Queen saying to follow them on Twitter. I laughed and said to my daughter “who the heck would ‘follow’ this particular Dairy Queen! “. She replied simply “coupons mom”. WHAT! Yup, apparently you can get coupons and deals on Twitter! I will be researching and sharing that one ASAP!

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