The public feed
The public feed is a stream of tweets from people you follow, along with any accounts they have retweeted. It’s the main feature of Twitter, and it’s something that most users are familiar with. You can see your timeline by clicking on your profile picture or name in the navigation bar at the top of your screen.
Tweets are short posts that you can share with your followers. They can be text, photos, videos, links, and GIFs (but not quoted tweets).
When someone replies to or retweets your tweet, you’ll get a notification in your timeline telling you they’ve done so. You can also send direct messages to other users if you want to talk privately with them instead of broadcasting a message publicly.
Hashtags are a way to categorize your tweets. By adding a hashtag in front of any word or phrase, you can group your tweet with other similar messages and topics. For example, if you’re tweeting about work and are unsure if anyone else wants to discuss it, use the hashtag #workchat. The hashtag will appear next to the word “work chat” in the status bar when someone searches for that phrase on Twitter. If someone clicks on it, they’ll see all other tweets containing that same hashtag—including yours!
Mentions are used to tag or mention someone in a tweet. They’re signified by putting an at a sign, @, before the username of whomever you want to mention. Mentions can be used to start a conversation with someone and share links and photos with that person. For example, if our friend Kevin wanted to tell us about his new haircut, he’d use “I got my hair cut!” instead of simply writing: “I got my hair cut.”
Retweets and quote tweets
When you retweet a tweet, it’s as if you’re saying, “I agree with this.” It lets your followers know that something is worth their time and attention, so they should check it out themselves. To retweet a tweet, click the Retweet button next to the original poster’s username, which will appear at the bottom of the tweet when you’re looking at it on mobile or desktop.
Direct messages (DMs)
Direct messages are private messages that you can send to other users. When you direct message someone, the recipient of your message can see it in their inbox and reply to it. Direct messages can also be sent in groups (a DM group), which lets multiple people communicate with each other at once.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of how Twitter works. To learn more about this social media platform, check out our other blog posts on the topic.