Twitter Help‎ > ‎

The Tweet

The Twitter Home page asks the question, "What's happening?" Each answer to that question is considered a Twitter status update, generally referred to as a "tweet." Each update must be 140 characters or less. After signing up, just type your first tweet in the update box. Notice that the entry box counts the total number of characters that you typed. Click the update button to complete posting the tweet.
You can also post updates is from your cell phone. Most exciting things happen while we're away from our computers. Set up your phone and send Twitter a text message, or if your phone has a web browser, use the special version of our site that's made for mobile web browsers,
You can also post updates is from your cell phone. People commonly share the most exciting things they see on a day-to-day basis while away from the computer. Set up your phone with Twitter, or if your phone has a web browser, use the mobile version of the Web site,
When getting started with twitter don't be afraid to experiment. At least in the beginning, you probably won't have many followers anyway. To get started, you might share links to interesting news stories if you can fit the link in hundred and 40 characters, great. Otherwise, you may need to use a URL shortner (like or to make your link fit.
Another great way to get started, is simply to tweet quotes. Do a Google search for some inspiring or thought-provoking quotes. There are thousands of quotes all over the web that you can use. Furthermore quotes are often retreated (we'll get to that in a bit).
Whatever you do, it is important to "add value". Do not simply post sales or promotional links over and over again. If you look like a spam bot it will be hard to find and keep followers. Twitter is about conversational engagement, value and a social experience. A good rule of thumb is to keep promotional suites to about one in 20. Also be careful with religion and politics. These topics can alienate your followers.

Why 140 Characters?

140 characters is the maximum length of text messages sent using SMS. Twitter integrates well with mobile devices. To tweet from your phone, send a text to “40404”. Also, the hundred and 40 character limit encourages rapid sharing, it is easier than writing a blog post for instance. The true maximum payload of SMS can actually be 160 characters, but twitter reserves 20 characters so you could put in the username for @replies.

How to post your first tweet

If you created your account on the web site, just sign in and type your message.
1. Go to and sign in.
2. Type the text of your update message into the "What are you doing" box.
3. Click "update."
4. Your tweet will post to your profile page. It will appear in both your and your friends timelines.

What do people tweet about?

People tweet everything on twitter. It is up to you to decide what types of messages you want to send to your followers. Peple send everything from the most mundane updates (what they are having for lunch) to the most personal (giving birth!). You are free to share random thoughts, post links, report where you are, or what you are eating. However, the people who get the most out of twitter use it as a conversational medium. Therefore, they rarely posts things that they will be of interest to their followers, spurring or fostering conversation. The best twitterers are like party hosts. Introducing and facilitating conversation between other people.

What is the point?

People like to share. Companies, news agencies, celebrities, and even the President have information to share! They use Twitter for fun, but also to share important information. Twitter is a way for companies, celebrities and other organizations to communicate with people.
There is also a real-time aspect to the millions of messages being transmitted it is interesting to see what you are doing in relation to what everyone else is doing at the same moment. It is an excellent source of current news. Often, news breaks first on Twitter because it is the first place that people go to talk about it. The search function allows you to see what people are saying right now given topic, and also see the topics that are being most talked about.

How much time should I spend writing my Tweets?

It depends on your objectives. Impromptu conversations with friends can be spontaneous but remember that your tweets are public and future employers or clients may be reading along. Regardless, you should always try to be grammatically correct and avoid spelling errors. Some abbreviations will be unavoidable due to the hundred and 40 character format. Between something that you hope will be re-tweeted to get shorter so that people can add their own commentary.

How do I delete a tweet?

You can only delete your own tweets. However, you can unfollow or block users whose tweets you do not want to see. If you have second thoughts, about posting something you can easily remove it. When you hover over your update, on your home or profile page, you'll see a trash can icon at the end of the text. Click the trash can icon to delete your tweet.
To delete a Twitter update:
1. Sign in to Twitter
2. Go to your profile
3. Find the update you want to delete
4. Click the garbage can icon.
5. Your tweet is now deleted, but it may still appear in search results for some time.

Does Twitter allow HTML in status updates?

No, HTML is removed for consistency and security. Twitter will automatically shorten links if they are longer than 30 characters, it will be converted to a shorter URL.

Why can't I see my older tweets?

You can only view your historical tweaks up to a certain point. There plans to eventually build something that will let you see all of your tweets, but right now you can only see the 3,200 most recent.