Users Still Don’t Understand Twitter?

Start Rant

I can't believe how many people still don't understand how tweeting works. It's a fairly simple concept... or at least I thought so. Maybe I give people more credit than they deserve... I'm writing this in hopes of helping people understand how tweeting works and to get users to tweet more effectively. Feel free to chime in and tell me I'm misinformed if you like. Honestly, maybe I don't understand completely. Maybe I'm missing something. If you know something I don't, or I'm off base, please let me know. I don't mind being wrong and learning something new.

A Tweet For All To See

This one is simple. You start the tweet with plain text. No mentions at the beginning of the tweet. Because it starts with just plain text, everyone following you will see it in their timeline.

A Tweet For All To See

A Tweet To Specific Users

When you want to direct a tweet at someone in particular, you start with their Twitter handle. When the very first thing in the tweet is the @ symbol followed by their handle this means that they will get a notification saying they have been mentioned. The part that people don't seem to realize is, the only people who will actually see this tweet in their timeline are the people who follow whoever you mentioned, as well as the person you directed it at.

Tweet To Specific Users

I often see users do something like this:

@somepopularband is going to be in town! Everyone should go to the show!

Unless other users are following @somepopularband as well, they will never know they are going to be in town... and probably won't go to the show.

Starting With A Mention, But Still For Everyone To See

When you need to start a tweet with a user's Twitter handle and you would like everyone to see it, throw some character in front of it. The period is usually a popular choice.

Starting With A Mention But Still For Everyone To See

Personal Pet Peeve

This one annoys me to no end... A local band from around these parts is notorious for it. They post something like this:

Check out our music video! -link to video- @someuserwhodoesntcare

The problem being, they post about 20 of these tweets, all to different people. This means I see every single one in my feed! That user that probably doesn't want to see your music video anyways is mentioned at the end of the tweet! This is a perfect example where it should be at the beginning. They are trying to direct this at someone, so how about they actually direct it at them! This saves me, someone who is on the brink of unfollowing them, from getting spammed with 20 of the same tweet! Now that I have been spammed, I get annoyed, and because I was on the brink of unfollowing them... I unfollow them. Minus 1 in style points. Fail. There is the door. Time to go.

Anyways! Hopefully my need to vent will help people tweet more effectively...

End Rant

Posted on: February 17, 2014

6 Responses

  1. I use Facebook every day, and find it a simple, user friendly website. Twitter on the other hand, I haven’t got a clue about.

    It just seems to be an ocean of hash tags (which you haven’t explained) and @ signs, which you explained, but I still don’t understand.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to try and expain Twitter, but having read your article, I’m more confused than ever. I think I’ll just stick to Facebook!

  2. I find Twitter incomprehensible. Whatever language used I don’t see it as actually being English any more. I don’t even know anybody who uses Twitter. It seems to be just another techno-drug for the tech addicts. You know the ones. They have their heads down, hands in what used to be a prayer gesture, in “The Posture”, all attention focused on the device in their hands. Addicted? Ask them if they could go a day without their tech. I personally have no intention of using Twitter and can think of no conceiveable reason why I should. When people use Twitterspeak outside of Twitter I can only assume that the posters want to confine their communication to other Twitter users. If they don’t want other people in the loop they avoid plain language. Twitter seems directly opposed to genuine plain language communication with all its nuances. Shallow.

  3. I agree with the other 3 comments. I have no idea what I could use this for. I have followers and follow people. However, never tweet unless you count my Facebook posts being tweeted automatically. I never look at twitter. I use Facebook and Whatsapp, but find no need for Twitter, unless of course I want to tell strangers what I had for lunch???

  4. i don`t get twitter at all..its been explained and explained and zip notta just don`t register..so i guess its not for me..

  5. I have to agree with the previous comment which stated, it’s the “why” question, and not “how”, in regard to understanding twitter. My 3rd attempt to insinuate myself “into” this set still leaves me scratching my head. Trying to describe it is a little like describing a dream.

  6. I think the thing people don’t understand about Twitter is “why”. The “how” is simple. But what is its purpose? I signed up and didn’t get it. I read countless articles and I still don’t get it. I think if you have a use for it you will get it, and if, like me, you don’t it will always be a mystery

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