Trying Twitter: What you need to know to get started

Dec 9, 2011, 8:29 a.m.

If curiosity has finally gotten the best of you and you'd like to check out Twitter, you will find that it's easy to do. The site is quite intuitive and easy to navigate. With our tips, you'll be making the most of this micro-blogging site in no time at all.

To begin, you will need to create a Twitter account. You must supply your email address, a user name and a password. When you create a Twitter account, you can either use Twitter's wizard to find people to follow or skip it and find them on your own. When you follow people, it allows you to see their posts on your page. The wizard will suggest popular Twitter users and interests. You can also use it to find users on other platforms, such as Facebook or Gmail, who you already know. In the settings menu, you can add a website, change your profile picture and pick a theme to customize your Twitter background.

Now it is time to start tweeting. Posts, or tweets, must be 140 characters or less. If you are including links in an update, try shortening them using a URL shortener like bit.ly . People will often end a post with the # symbol and a word. This is a hashtag, and indicates the subject of the post. You can see trending hashtags on the right-hand side of the screen. They allow you to have a conversation on specific topics.

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