Interested in participating in one of our Twitter chats but don’t have a Twitter account?

Do not fear! We have the information you’ll need to get started. These are the basic tools you’ll need to understand to participate in a chat, for further Twitter advice feel free to explore Twitter’s Help Center.


On your desktop, go to and enter your information. Be sure to give your cell phone number because Twitter will send an SMS text message with a code to verify the account. From there you can then create your own username or choose one they suggest. This username is the name your followers will see and respond to and it must be fewer than 15 characters in length. Once that is done, click create my account.

If you’re creating it on your mobile device, download the Twitter app from the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android). Open the app, tap “sign up” and follow along the same steps as mentioned above to create your account.

Once your account is created, you can start following other accounts (try us for example!). Search for users you may already know by clicking on the magnifying glass on your screen. Once you’re on another user’s page, there is a “Follow” button at the top of their page for you to click. The tweets from these accounts will then appear in your now customized Twitter home timeline.


Now that your account is created, we’re sure you have things to say! You can form a new tweet in one of two ways: (1) on your Twitter desktop homepage, type in the “What’s happening” box at the top or (2) click on the feather icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen (desktop and iPhone users) or lower left hand corner of your screen (Android users) and start typing out your Tweet.

Tweets are supposed to be short and sweet so they are limited to 140 characters or less (the characters are counted for you within that Tweet box). You can also include media like photos or video in the link, just keep in mind that the size of them uses up character space. Same rule applies to sharing links. When you’ve written your update, you can click “Tweet” within that box and your latest update will be posted!


A hashtag (the “” symbol) is used to mark relevant keywords in a Tweet and to better categorize messages. If you have a public Twitter account, other users can see that keyword and all other Tweets that use it by clicking on it (this is what makesTwitter chats so successful!). Don’t overuse hashtags in your message, just the words that are related to the topic you’re referring to.


Twitter isn’t just about you Tweeting to the world, it’s about connecting with other users! You can Tweet other users by using the “” symbol followed by their username (no space between the “” and username). On your Twitter home timeline, you see a live Tweet update of all the accounts you follow. At the bottom of each of those Tweets, there are different symbols to help you interact with that user. Starting from left to right, the curved arrow is the “reply” button . When you click it, a new Tweet will open up with their username (“” sign included) so you can reply to them. The next symbol is two arrows forming a square , also known as the “retweet” button.  Retweeting is a way for you to forward someone else’s Tweet for your own followers to see. The next icon is a heart icon , also known as the “like” button, which is similar to liking someone’s status on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Once you start interacting, especially in a Twitter chat, you’ll start to receive notifications. You can view your notification under the bell icon . It will show a list of likes, replies, and retweets from other users.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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