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A very popular social networking service 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 in 2013.

From 140 Characters to 280
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 message part was doubled to 280 characters.

Free and Paid - Twitter and Twitter Blue
For 15 years, Twitter has been a free service and still is. However, in 2021, a paid option with more features was introduced (see Twitter Blue).

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

# Hashtags
A hashtag is a number sign (#) prefix used to identify a topic so that it can be looked up. Hashtags are created for 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 to their posts, and all those tweets 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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Twitter is different and of incredible use to pro-lifers.
The PTA, in addition to raising its concerns with Twitter administration about the biased approach towards Pakistani Twitter users in strong words, has also requested Pakistani social media users to report any Twitter account suspended on the pretext of posting pro-Kashmir content to PTA at
Over the last one week, a large number of Pakistanis have taken to Twitter to report that accounts were being suspended after they posted in support of Kashmir. The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) July 22, 2019 class="twitter-tweet" .3226837060703 Gabriela Rep.
Under the rule change, ( Twitter will begin labeling tweets by government officials who break the platforms content rules.
It was admittedly an error-prone night for most of the schools, and that did not escape the discerning Twitter crowd.
One senior employee said, "People have been very precious at Twitter about what Twitter can be and how much it can be evolved.
This book provides the readers with a comprehensive strategy on how to successfully utilize their ever-changing Twitter account.
There is a persistent idea out there that Google needs to buy Twitter. On paper, it makes perfect sense for Google to buy Twitter.
At the top of Twitter's agenda at SXSW Interactive this week: meetings with top ad executives to talk up the messaging service's video capabilities, which now allow for easier sharing, greater potential for ads and possibly an autoplay option, according to several marketers scheduled to powwow with Twitter reps in Austin, Texas.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Twitter, the phenomenal microblogging website, is on Turkey's agenda mainly because the government is waging a war on the anonymous whistleblower Fuat Avni (@fuatavnifuat), but the resilience Twitter has shown in protecting user information is not only limited to cases in Turkey, the company says.