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A very popular message broadcasting system that lets anyone send alphanumeric text messages ("tweets") up to 280 characters in length to a list of followers. Launched in 2006, inline images were added starting in 2013.

From 140 Characters to 260
The original message was limited to 140 characters, which was derived from the 160-character text message. The Twitter message was 140 characters plus 20 for the user's address (see SMS). In 2017, the number was doubled to 280 characters.

From Personal to Commercial and Political
Twitter was designed as a social network to keep friends and colleagues informed throughout the day. However, it became widely used for commercial and political purposes to keep customers, voters and fans up-to-date as well as to encourage feedback. By 2013, daily tweets reached the half billion mark.

After establishing a Twitter account at, individuals can import their email addresses as well as use the Twitter search to locate and invite people. Tweets can be made public and sent to anyone requesting the feed, or they can be sent only to pre-approved followers.

Messages can be sent and received via cellphone messaging (see MMS) or a Twitter app. To follow a feed on the Twitter website, type the feed name after the URL; for example,

Forward that Tweet (Retweet)
Twitter becomes a viral conduit when users receive an interesting message and forward it to their followers. The ease of retweeting can quickly build large audiences. See retweet.

Replies and Direct Messages (DMs)
Initially a one-way broadcast from writer to follower, Twitter added a reply function that turned Twitter into a discussion group.

Tweets can also be private. Writers can send followers a private "direct message" (DM). Followers can do likewise, and they can also delete their DMs from the writer's inbox. In 2015, the length of a DM was increased from 140 to 10,000 characters.

@ Signs and # Hashtags
When someone replies to a Twitter posting, they use their Twitter account name preceded by an @ sign; for example, "@JohnDoe."

A hashtag is a # prefix used to identify any topic so that it can be searched as a group. Hashtags are created for all major entities such as organizations, sports teams and political parties; however, they can be created for anything. For example, people commenting about a Twitter event in New York added the hashtag #nyctweetup in their postings, and all those messages could be viewed as a group by searching for #nyctweetup.

From Mobile Blogging to Microblogging
Twitter expanded "mobile blogging," the process of updating a blog from a cellphone, into updating a short activities blog (the "microblog") and immediately sending the update to followers. For more Twitter vocabulary, see Twitterese. See verified Twitter account, Vine and microblog.
References in periodicals archive ?
By connecting with TD Ameritrade through Twitter Direct Messages, investors can get on-demand market information, news and events, quotes and sector information, plus social sentiment powered by LikeFolio and more than 150 educational videos about investing.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, said, "With the added feature of Twitter's Direct Message experience, we are bringing all the excitement associated with our Light Up 2018 Downtown Dubai spectacle to a global audience in real-time.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties, added: "With the added feature of Twitter's Direct Message experience, we are bringing all the excitement associated with our Light Up 2018 Downtown Dubai spectacle to a global audience in real-time.
are two of the first industry partners testing the two Direct Message features (Twitter Quick Replies and Twitter Welcome) that Twitter released last fall.
Direct Messages (DMs) allow Twitter users to have a private conversation outside of the usual public experience on the online timeline.
While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news, movements and events that unfold on Twitter," Agarwal added.
India, April 21 -- Twitter users will now be able to send direct messages from other users regardless if they follow each other or not.
21, 2015, but all the direct messages take place before the March 2014 local elections, Ilycak said.
I have had instances where players sent me a direct message on Twitter after I singled them out.
And in a direct message to the millionaire he urged Giggs to call his brother.
Follow the UnFollowr account to receive a direct message every time you lose one of your minions on Twitter.
In a direct message to him, they said they are keen to see him go back to school and are arranging for him to see his dad next week.

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