Twitter Glossary of Basic Terms

Twitter Glossary of Basic Terms

Here are some of the most common Twitter Terms explained 

  1. Tweet: A post made on Twitter by a user.
  2. ReTweet or RT: Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original poster to give credit.
  3. DM: This is a Direct Message sent to a twitter user. One has to follow you in order to DM them. DMs don’t appear in the public twitter stream but go directly to the receiver’s inbox. Also called a DM and most recently called simply a “message,” these Tweets are private between the sender and recipient.
  4. Via: This can sometimes be used in place of RT. E.g. @aoiferigney: Just via@stoneatwine
  5. Follow: If someone’s tweets appear in your stream then you are following them.
  6. Follower: Someone who is reading your tweets
  7. Unfollow or De-Friend: This is when someone stops reading your tweets.
  8. @ Reply: The @ symbol is used to reply to a twitter user. E.g. @
  9. # (Hashtag):A hash symbol is used to comment about a certain topic in a tweet so that people searching for it can easily find it. Searching for #iran will give you all the tweets that contain news about Iran
  10. Twitterer/Tweeter: Someone who uses Twitter
  11. Link: Including a URL in your tweet.
  12. Handle (@aoiferigney) This handle is your username, this is what others will use to tweet you.
  13. Bio: A short personal description of 160 characters or fewer used to define who you are on Twitter. Read about how to change your bio.
  14. Blocking: To block someone on Twitter means they will be unable to follow you or add you to their lists, and we will not deliver their mentions to your mentions tab.
  15. Deactivation: A way to remove your profile from Twitter. Information from deactivated profiles remains in our system for 30 days. Learn how to deactivate your account.
  16. Favorite: To favorite a Tweet means to mark it as one of your favorites by clicking the yellow star next to the message.
  17. Hacking: Gaining unauthorized access to an account via phishing, password guessing, or session stealing. Usually this is followed by unauthorized posts from the account. Users often use the word “hacking” for many things that are not hacking.
  18. MT: Similar to RT, an abbreviation for “Modified Tweet.” Placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message with modifications, for example shortening a Tweet.
  19. Promoted Tweets: Tweets that selected businesses have paid to promote at the top of search results on Twitter.
  20. Protected/Private Accounts: Twitter accounts are public by default. Choosing to protect your account means that your Tweets will only be seen by approved followers and will not appear in search.

If you require further help with your twitter account – check out or just get in touch with me by leaving a comment below!

Twitter Glossary of Basic Terms

Written by

Aoife Rigney is a digital marketing and social media strategist, advisor, trainer and event speaker. Aoife loves her work – it’s her passion! From training one to one or a large group, advising a business on their digital strategy or speaking to a room of people – she simply loves it!


  1. Great information as usual; Aoife. Perfect for new and experienced users

  2. I am a twitter newbie-kinda, you should know i just bookmarked this post!

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