Twitter is a remarkable, free communications tool that can connect you with interesting people, events and information. Twitter is available online at twitter.com, or as a free app that can be installed on practically any mobile phone. Millions of people all over the world consider Twitter to be as important to their daily communications routine as checking their email, sending text messages or catching up with friends on Facebook.

At its heart, Twitter lets you do three things:

  1. Broadcast to the world what you are doing, what you are thinking and who you are with. The broadcasts are short messages called “tweets” that contain no more than 140 characters of text. It’s also possible to add a photograph or a link to a news story as well. While anyone can see these tweets, the messages are most likely to be noticed by people who “follow” you on Twitter (more about that later).
  2. Monitor what other people are saying and doing. Millions of ordinary people — as well as companies, schools, sports teams, charities, politicians and superstars — broadcast their own messages to the world. You can choose to follow the accounts of people you like or who you think are interesting. When you follow someone, you will be able to see their recent tweets. Some may even follow you back, to see what you have to say!
  3. Learn about the world. Because people all over the world use Twitter to describe what they are doing, how they are feeling and what they are seeing, Twitter is a window into events, opinions, and information. Want to know what other people think about the latest episode of your favorite TV show or sports team? Want to see photographs taken at a concert, beach or political rally? Twitter can let you do that. The flow of information is sometimes rough, but it grants an unfiltered view of the world, often before “official” sources of news weigh in.

Twitter In 30 Minutes explains how to get started with Twitter, using step-by-step instructions and lots of screenshots. Not only does the guide walk you through registration, it also shows you how to follow interesting people, find useful information, and get comfortable writing tweets! The guide is available as paperback or PDF, or it can be downloaded for the Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Purchasing options are listed here.

What is Twitter

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