You’ve been following people and news on Twitter, but you don’t really get it. How do you tweet directly to someone without blasting all your followers? What do hashtags mean?
There’s a glossary right on Twitter. We’ve picked the most useful terms:
# is a hashtag, or symbol to mark keywords or topics.
@ is a symbol preceding usernames, like this: Hello @Twitter! When a username (or handle) is preceded by @, it links to a profile.
Direct message. Also called a DM and more recently just “message.” They become DMs when they start with a username. Click on the gear icon at the top right and select Direct messages. You also can click New message on the envelope on your profile page.
FF. This stands for “Follow Friday.” It’s a compliment meaning this person is someone you should follow.
GFF (Get followers fast). Sites that promise followers if you provide your username and password. They spam; don’t use them.
HT or h/t. “Hat tip.” Another compliment.
MT. Similar to RT (retweet), an abbreviation for “modified tweet.” Placed before text when a message is retweeted with changes.
OH. Usually means “overheard.” Used to quote notable things.
RLRT. “Real life retweet.” Another way of saying OH.
Short code. A five-digit phone number to send and receive tweets by text message.
Timeline or TL. Also Home timeline. A real-time list of tweets.
Tweet button. Add one to your website so Twitter users can tweet to your site. Useful!
URL shortener. A necessity, and you can find one right on Twitter.