Chances are, you have heard the word “Twitter” before – after all, it seems as if Twitter is everywhere these days, being talked about through every avenue of media. But you might still find that you are confused as to the concept of Twitter, or as to how Twitter is used and why it is so darn popular. If this is the case, read on! This is a short, simple crash course on Twitter to help you understand its basics.

The concept of Twitter is that it enables users to share thoughts with anyone all over the world. In a manner very similar to facebook status updates, Twitter allows its users to express their thoughts using updates of 140 or fewer characters. Twitter is free to its users, and people can “tweet” (post updates) and frequently or infrequently as they desire. On Twitter, you can follow other Twitterers, and you can accumulate followers yourself. Your news feed on Twitter will be filled up with the tweets of those who you follow. You can also visit someone’s Twitter page and read all their tweets, and in this way (unless the user’s page is set to private) you can read someone’s tweets without actually following them.

You might have set up a Twitter account a few months back and subsequently ditched it because you couldn’t figure out exactly how it works. Really, Twitter is quite simple; if you are using to interact with friends, you can follow people you know and they can follow you back. If, on the other hand, you want to use Twitter to connect to people you do not currently know, begin following people whose tweets interest you, and make sure you tweet about things that will interest these people; eventually, you will start to fine more people whose tweets you appreciate, and more people will find you.

Twitter’s extreme popularity can be explained in a number of ways, but one of the simplest explanations is the way Twitter opens communication among people from all over the world. On Twitter, you can interact with anyone from your favorite celebrity to a student on the other side of the world who is studying the same topic as you. Twitter can be used to build business, or to make new friends, or to simply enjoy “hanging out with” and interacting with people.

Like most things that are inexplicably popular, Twitter is easy to use and understand. Once you get going, you might just find that you do not want to stop!

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