Twitter 101: The basics for beginners

Aug 30, 2009
Tech

It can be hard trying to stay on top of the latest social media trends. Take Twitter, which has seemingly exploded out of nowhere during the past year. Twitter is a “https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id299453970?mt=8″ app_id=”50423” target=”_blank”>SimplyTweet 2.0 ($4.99), require you to already have an account, before using. Following friends After you have an @username you’ll want to […]

It can be hard trying to stay on top of the latest social media trends. Take Twitter, which has seemingly exploded out of nowhere during the past year.

Twitter is a “https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-store/id299453970?mt=8″ app_id=”50423” target=”_blank”>SimplyTweet 2.0 ($4.99), require you to already have an account, before using.

Following friends

After you have an @username you’ll want to find some people to follow.

To my knowledge, none of the Twitter apps are equipped with “Find People” like on Twitter.com, where you can search for users by full name, but most of the apps are equipped with @user search shortcuts.

If you already know the name of the user you want to add, Tweetie and SimplyTweet offer “Go To User” bars under the more tab.

The two versions of Echofon also have this shortcut, only it’s found next to the search bar. Twitterrific has an @user search under the contacts tab, as well as a dedicated to @user/from @user function within Quick Search.

With all of these apps, following, or blocking, users can be done with just a tap on the users’ profile. They also all offer the ability to view the followers and followings of other users, handy for finding interesting new Tweeters.

Managing Multiple Accounts

If you suddenly need to take on the responsibility of multiple accounts, you’ll need to avoid Echofon, as the free version doesn’t support more than one account. Twitterrific’s free version supports unlimited accounts, which makes it a great option for beginning users. Echofon Pro supports multiple names, but its price tag makes it an investment. On the other hand, Tweetie’s lower price for unlimited accounts might make it a better starting point if you hate ads.

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SimplyTweet is pricey, but you’ll receive push notifications for @replies and @mentions for every account enabled, a great feature if you need to stay on top of conversation or an annoyance if you’re terribly prolific.

Getting comfortable

All of the Twitter apps you’ll try will work, you just need to figure out what’s most important to you for choosing the best one. Now that you’re a seasoned pro, check out our story for TwitterFreaks for some extra things to keep in mind.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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