How Does Twitter Work?

Twitter is the 11th most visited site in the world but many people are still asking, “How does Twitter work?

Put simply, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. In other words, it works just like a blog, only much simpler.

With blogs, you normally find long, journal-type entries. This can be anywhere from 50 to 1,000 words or more. Blogs also usually contain pictures. Twitter is different in that you’re limited to 140 characters per entry (tweet) and no pictures (except for the one on your profile).

Only being able to use 140 characters per tweet might not seem like a lot but when you consider what the purpose of Twitter is, then it makes sense.

Twitter is designed for people to put quick updates on what they are doing, thinking or feeling. Many people also use Twitter to share websites with others. Here’s tweets I just found on my Twitter page:

“Hello and Good Morning tweeps!! what’s happening? Hope everyone has a great day today”

“The happier you feel, the more business you will attract. This has been and still is my experience. :)”

“I can’t wait to go and do some camping.”

“Want to make money online? Check out my free video ecourse…

When you sign up for your Twitter account, you won’t see anyone’s tweets until you “follow” them. You do this by searching for something you’re interested in or for one of your family or friends. Once you have found someone you want to follow, simply click on the “Follow” link or button next to their username.

If you decide later that you don’t want to see that person’s tweets anymore, you can unfollow them in the same way. Just click on the “Unfollow” link or button next to their username.

Below every tweet that someone sends you there are three options; Favorites, Retweet and Reply.


By clicking on the Favorites link under a tweet, it will add that tweet to your Favorites list. You can see all your Favorites by going to your ‘Profile’ and clicking on the Favorites tab.


This option is great for when you really like a tweet and want to share it with all those that are following you. When you click on Retweet, you’ll send out the same tweet (credit will go to the original Tweeter).


This is what you would choose if you want to send a direct message to the person who sent the tweet. Anyone following you will also see the reply but they will know who it has been directed to.

While this article has covered the basics of how Twitter works, there are many other commands that you can use. For more details on these, check out the Twitter support site here.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

If this post has been helpful, please leave a comment below. Thanks!



{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Softworld April 13, 2011, 9:47 am

    Definitely that the way how Twitter works is pretty interesting. However I’m extremely surprised to see that this site is the 11th most visited in the world.
    I believe that the main reason for this is because you can post various messages extremely easy and fast.
    Softworld´s last blog post ..WavePad Sound Editor 452 Trialware

    • John Lagoudakis April 13, 2011, 10:25 am

      11th place is a big achievement. Most of my friends don’t use it but some absolutely love it!

  • Mighty 1984 June 30, 2011, 4:53 pm

    I had an idea how twitter worked but I can’t believe some one would shrink the blog to only 140 characters. I still remember LiveJournal… Times have changed. But hey, did yall hear that myspace is going out soon. Who would have thought…

  • Michael July 26, 2011, 5:27 pm

    I am a Twitter newbie, so thabks for this simple to read, easy to understand info on Twitter. I was especially interested in the reply feature! Thanks!

  • Linda August 1, 2011, 2:09 am

    Thanks for the “digest” version! It was helpful enough so that I can check out the Twitter site and not be overwhelmed. Baby steps!….

  • iko August 23, 2011, 6:07 am

    Everyone of you twitterers interprets “how does it work” as “what is it” and no one actually goes thru the steps of how to use it! I hate it when people do not answer a question but try to outsmart the questioner and answer a question they think was asked rather than answering the question.

    • John Lagoudakis August 25, 2011, 2:05 am

      Hi iko, I’m getting lots of positive feedback about this article… is there something specific that has been missed here?

  • iko August 25, 2011, 6:56 pm

    Your article is great as far as explaining the purpose/capabilities and features of Twitter, but it does not explain how it works physically step-by-step. I guess my mind works differently because I had previously figured out the things you wrote about, but can’t figure out how to do them.

  • aaryan October 4, 2011, 1:00 am

    simple to read easy to understand thanks for your article now i now what is twitter

  • Bernard November 3, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Goodinfo. I read the Twitter info but still couldn’t navigate in there,now it makes some sense.

  • mujeeb November 22, 2011, 5:52 pm

    just iko asked, how is it working physically. What kind of platform, what type of engine etc..qustions are so many, your answer was nothing about such things. Its like advising somebody to save energy by “type energy in the wordpad and click on save button”-you saved energy.

    • John Lagoudakis November 28, 2011, 10:23 am

      Thanks Mujeeb. Sorry, don’t have that info… this article is more of a “Twitter 101″ type.


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