With Twitter coming into the limelight thanks to a certain world leader, many people are asking “What is Twitter used for?,” and why they would want to use it. That is a HUGE question to ask because Twitter is perhaps the most diverse social platform around. It is a global communication tool with practical uses for people of all walks of life.
What is Twitter used for? Being social
After you set up your Twitter account, you can never forget about Twitter is that it was built as an internal communication platform for a company. It is always going to be about people talking to one another. This takes place on the scale of the most famous celebrities telling you what they’re doing right now:
There's no better time than the holiday season to reach out and give back to our communities. Great to hear from young people at the Boys & Girls Club in DC today. pic.twitter.com/FSJkj1qwg9
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 14, 2017
To things that are a little bit more like this:
I like pineapples on my pizza. Fight me
— Piink❥ (@piinksparkles) December 13, 2017
Being social on Twitter takes two different forms:
- Tagging: You can tag another Twitter user by using their @username. They will be notified of this, and they will make a decision on whether or not they will write back to you. You can tag @Rihanna’s Twitter account all you want, but she will likely never grace you with her magnificence. But then again, maybe she will…
MY BITCH RIHANNA JUST COMMENTED ON MY FREESTYLE BITCH I GOT ON STUNNA LIP RIGHT NOWWWW @rihanna 😩😩😩😩❤️❤️❤️❤️
— 💎 Dreezy (@dreezydreezy) December 18, 2017
- Hashtags: The other way is to participate in #hashtag conversations. When you use a hashtag it creates links to all the other tweets which use the same hashtag. Clicking on these links, or hashtags, takes you to an organized timeline of every other tweet which used this hashtag. If you use #ThorRagnarok it will almost be like you’re having a conversation with Chris Hemsworth. Thor himself!
— Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) October 23, 2017
These are the two basic ways to have social interactions with people on Twitter. You are also free to send tweets out for your followers to read without trying to communicate with anyone in particular.
What is Twitter used for? Current events
Twitter has always been a place to share short messages as they happen. This has caused it to evolve into a popular place to share breaking news as it happens. Often, this breaking news can be accompanied by a corresponding #hashtag. Other times, it will simply end up in the trending news section using the most common buzzword.
When news starts to break, you will see it in the Trending Topics section shown above. Keep in mind that this is not just about world news as it can also be about live sports, live shows, or TV shows that are currently airing.
— The Flash (@CW_TheFlash) December 6, 2017
It’s not all serious, but it is all shared as it happens. If you feel that you have something important to say, and you want to appear at the top of the algorithm-controlled Trending section for a hashtag or topic you love, use our Twitter Retweets Service. This will push your important tweet to the top, ensuring that more people see what you have to say. There may be tens of thousands of tweets about your topic, and you may need a little help to stand out.
The most important events always wind up in the Twitter Moments section. This is a separate page on Twitter:
This page highlights the biggest news going on across Twitter. It does this by showing the most shared stories on the platform. Many people begin their day on Twitter here.
On the Twitter homepage you will find the What’s happening? section. It is where you can find all of the most popular news stories and tweets from over the last few hours.
It is a great place to go if you want a brief snapshot of what’s going on in the world. You can click on subheadings to be taken further into particular topics of interest. If you like sports, but can’t stand soccer, you can look at basketball:
No matter what you’re interested in, you can find it by clicking on the right subheading. This is a great way to find out what’s going on in the world, and to find new Twitter accounts to follow. Between the trending section, What’s happening?, and the Twitter Moments section you will know every notable story happening in the world right now.
What is Twitter it used for? Sharing information
Twitter and education are becoming more and more linked in formal and informal settings. Informally, people are trying to share vital information with one another. In a formal setting, teachers are now sharing information such as this with their students:
- Starting conversations: It can sometimes be difficult for students to talk in the classroom, but they can talk to their teacher over Twitter. This will be even bigger for school counselors.
- Textbook substitute: You can’t open up the textbook to talk about current events. They work great for history class and geography, but not much else. Teachers can look on Twitter for current events, and have their students join them in the discussion.
- Empathy: Daring teachers are using Twitter to help teach empathy by opening students up to the opinions of other people. Twitter users are known to share their uncensored opinions. Your psychology class may never be the same again.
The sharing of information is not just limited to the formal exchange between teacher and student. People on Twitter are also using it to educate one another about what’s important to them. Even if what’s important to them is basketball sneakers:
— SoleCollector.com (@SoleCollector) December 19, 2017
There, now you know what the bench player on an NBA team wore in tribute to a retired basketball player on December 19, 2017. To be fair, that is pretty important to some people.
What is Twitter used for? Telling terrible jokes
Twitter gets a lot of flack for being a vehicle for hate speech, but the vast majority of content on Twitter is actually just jokes. Twitter is a very funny place if you open yourself up to it:
Tonight I hung out with Chris Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds and Channing Tatum at this cool bar called Never Gonna Happen’s.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) December 10, 2017
Wow, if I had invested $1,000 in Bitcoin last week, today I would have… still no idea how Bitcoin works.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) December 9, 2017
And cats. Twitter is an endless barrage of people’s cats:
Sometimes they’re even funny cats… Anyway, despite what you read above about all the seriousness of Twitter, it is usually a very lighthearted and fun place to be.
Pay attention to the trending topics for trending hashtags which pop-up around funny ideas. There will be completely random ones like this:
— kim gillespie (@NOISEBOXER) December 19, 2017
World of Whore-Craft pic.twitter.com/rYGxxtVhuv
— Mattrick (@MClittlebigg) December 19, 2017
Or they can be created by major accounts like Jimmy Fallon does every week on his show:
It's Hashtags time! Tweet out the worst gift you or someone you know ever gave or received and tag it with #WorstGiftEver. Could be on the show!
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) December 13, 2017
My Dad bought me a burglar alarm.
He thought it was so funny.
I just got out of jail for burglary & theft.#WorstGiftEver
— Chris P. Bacon (@ChrisPBaconJr) December 13, 2017
Twitter is full of humor. I hope you find some good laughs.
What is Twitter used for? Doing business
Anytime you find a huge audience of people anywhere you will soon find marketers. Twitter is no different as many marketers are using the platform to show off their products. Some use it purely as a way to build brand name recognition. They are using Twitter much like anyone else in a friendly and communicative manner:
Sometimes your best won't be good enough but that doesn't mean you aren't good enough pic.twitter.com/VfeDu5Dwjx
— MoonPie (@MoonPie) December 13, 2017
Other businesses have a much more direct way of marketing:
On the 15th Day of Doorbusters Best Buy gave to you…
LG 49" LED 1080p Smart HDTV for $299.99. https://t.co/dMLiTMSBAJ
— Best Buy Deals (@BestBuy_Deals) December 15, 2017
Overall, anyone doing business on Twitter will be wise to focus more on communication than direct marketing. Twitter is not a broadcast platform like television. It is meant for open communication between all those who have an account. Don’t forget to follow businesses you enjoy to get updates on their latest releases and sales.
What is Twitter used for? Private conversations
Everything that you post on Twitter is public record. Tweets go out for anyone on Twitter to see, with some abilities to block people and make your account private. But if there’s something that you want to discuss privately you have that option by using Twitter direct messages:
Somebody slide in my dm's & change my life
— M O R I (@Demoriaaaa) December 12, 2017
You don’t have to worry about switching from one platform to another. You can have private conversations through the Twitter platform. You can get pretty deep into a conversation that starts with a trending topic, branches out with a group of like-minded individuals, and then gets into the heart of the matter with one person.
What is Twitter used for? What isn’t it?!?
Twitter is a very open social media platform, it doesn’t have walls built around it like Facebook. Pretty much everyone on Twitter has an open account than anyone else on Twitter can interact with.
Given all of the information and breaking news which is shared on Twitter, it is worthwhile just to show up and listen and be entertained. Maybe you’re not quite prepared to join in just yet, but if you hang around long enough I’m sure you will find something you’re passionate about and will want to talk to others about.
you're one of the first people i started talking to on twitter and you're so amazing. you're always there for everyone and i love you so much
— nicole (@80slovelis) December 9, 2017
See what you missed in 2017 with the best tweets of the year.