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Twitter Updates

Twitter mention · December 13, 2018

The 30 Fastest Growing Business Apps in 2018

Bundles are back. For years, web apps prompted a great unbundling of software, with a focus on apps that did one thing well. That changed in 2018. Adobe added Marketo and Magento to their wide-ranging suite of apps, Microsoft acquired GitHub, and Google built the new Hangouts Team Chat to...read more
Twitter mention · November 12, 2018

4 Twitter Marketing Strategies for Your Business

Twitter is arguably the most interaction-driven social network for businesses. And a solid Twitter strategy drives revenue. According to the Customer Insights report from Twitter, as much as 93 percent of people who follow small- and medium-sized businesses on Twitter plan to purchase from those they follow, while 69 percent...read more
Twitter mention · August 31, 2018

Our Favorite Zaps: How to Spend Less Time on Twitter

Twitter can have a lot of value, but more and more it's an arduous event to spend quality time on the site due to the high volume of contentious conversations, public shaming, political fervor, inauthentic accounts, and so forth. What can you do when you want to continue using...read more
Twitter mention · June 14, 2018

How to Save Everything You've Shared on Social Media

You only have to spend a few minutes looking at your Twitter feed to appreciate how fleeting and transient social media can be—posts appear, get their moment in the sun, and are then buried under an avalanche of new posts. But what if you want to review your social...read more
Twitter mention · March 29, 2018

Steal This Workflow: How to Save Hours Every Week with Webhooks

You’ve seen them hiding in your app’s settings, promising to send notifications, sync data, and connect to other software you use. Webhooks. They’re the mysterious extra in so many apps. But what are they, how do they work—and why do they have such long, confusing URLs...read more
Twitter mention · December 14, 2017

Best of 2017: 30 Web Apps and Software Trends That Ruled the Workplace

Each year the Zapier team publishes an updated version of this report. Check the latest list of Fastest Growing Apps for this year. Sometimes new isn't new, it's just a better version of the old thing. Spreadsheets, for instance, are ancient—the first software people often bought for...read more
Twitter mention · December 11, 2017

How a Startup with a Strict Budget Automates their Nurture Emails

In the world of startups, everyone works a lot. The founder puts in 70+ hours a week, the head of marketing is the marketing team, and everyone handles sales. When you work in that environment, you have to be fast, efficient, and unflappable. It's a right of passage. Or...read more
Twitter mention · November 6, 2017

How the Palm Beach Tech Association Automates Social Media Marketing

Are you a nonprofit interested in automating your work? Zapier offers a 15% discount for nonprofits! Just send a copy of your 501(c)(3) or similar documentation to contact@zapier.com to get your discount! Starting a business can be a lonely journey. To connect self-starters with resources and...read more
Twitter mention · August 23, 2017

How to Back Up Everything From All Your Apps and Devices

You know you should back up your files. But it's a chore that's easy to ignore until you accidentally delete that Facebook album—right after deleting those same pictures from your phone. Accidents happen. Even your most-trusted gadgets and apps could go haywire and lose your data. Or...read more
Twitter mention · August 8, 2017

101 Smart Ways to Use Social Media Automation for Sales and Marketing

Social networking is perhaps the easiest way to waste your day away. You can scroll through Facebook and Twitter all day and still not read everything that’s posted. Try to be friendly and reply to everyone, and you’ll quickly decide that social networks are a Rube Goldberg machine...read more
Matthew Guay
Reviewed by Matthew Guay · Last updated September 27, 2016
Our Rating:

The social network that has come to define the global conversation started out with a fascination with courier services. Co-founder and present CEO Jack Dorsey loved the system behind couriers, the quick messages they'd send each other via CB radio or phone to report where they were and find out where to go next.

One thing led to another, and in July 2006 Dorsey along with co-founders Evan Williams and Noah Glass launched twttr, which was soon changed to Twitter. It was a simple social network designed around SMS messages; you'd send a 140 character message to 40404, and it'd be broadcasted to everyone who followed you. It was a quick way to send group messages and make social networking mobile in the days before smartphones took over the world.

Twitter is more than just SMS messages. Today the main focus is Twitter.com and its apps, where you can follow people and brands from around the globe, post your own public status updates, and reply to anyone with a public Twitter profile. It's that latter openness that makes Twitter so unique—it's one of the few places you could reply to presidents, CEOs, and celebrities and possibly start a real conversation with them.

Tweets—as posts on Twitter are called—are now capped at 280 characters, double the original length of a Tweet. Today, you'll likely post Tweets from an app. Links take 23 characters each, thanks to Twitters t.co link shortening. And in a recent change, images (up to 4 per tweet) and links to other Tweets don't count towards your character count.

Want to share a longer post? Just write it on your blog—or perhaps in Medium, started by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams—or write text in another app and screenshot it. Or, you could break your text into multiple Tweets, adding each subsequent message as a reply to the previous ones, for what is known as a Tweetstorm. Want to categorize your messages? Add hastags such as #tech or #friday, something Twitter users started using on their own that was later added to the platform. Mention other users by adding an @ symbol before their name, such as @maguay. And for private messages, you can send Direct Messages (DMs) to anyone who follows you or who's enabled DMs from anyone without Twitter's normal character length.

Twitter's main feed typically shows new Tweets as they come in, though Twitter now also offers a curated view that tries to push the most popular Tweets to the top of the page. You can see how many people are looking at your Tweets using Twitter's built-in Analytics, which show your Tweet engagement, follower growth, and other marketing-focused stats that can help you measure how well you're doing on the network.

To grow your network and spread your products, you could just post updates to Twitter and encourage customers to follow you. The problem is, unless your followers are using Twitter at the same time you're posting, they'll likely not see your messages. That's where Twitter Ads come in handy. You can target people with Tweets that are turned into ads, to make sure followers see your message or to try to get people who are interested in specific topics or Tweeting from a certain location to see your message. Twitter Ads can share links, signup forms to add people to your email newsletters, or just promote a Tweet that you'd shared before, and can be a simple way to dip your toes in social advertising.

Jack Dorsey was quoted in the book Hatching Twitter saying “I see Twitter as a utility, a broadcasting system for the Internet.” And in many ways, that's what it's become. It may not be the most popular social network, but when there's breaking news, it's where the action happens. For tech fans, news addicts, and many other groups, Twitter is the social network where you'll be able to jump into the conversation and make your voice heard.

Twitter Resources:

Originally published September 27, 2016; updated December 12, 2017 with Twitter's new character limit.

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Twitter is the social network that shows what's happening around the world in real time. Share your ideas in Tweets, follow hashtags to keep up with trends, and join in the global conversation.