What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging and social media platform. Twitter users post statements called “Tweets.” Tweets have a 280 character limit, so they’re short, precise, and digestible. Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in 2006. Since then, the platform has grown significantly, garnering over 300 million users globally. 

Let’s learn more about Twitter, shall we?

Evolution of Twitter

Over the years, the platform has undergone many changes in features. The company has designed and redesigned its interface several times since its inception in 2006. 

For example, the character limit of tweets was originally 140 characters, and the logo read “Twitter” instead of the infamous bird logo users see today. Twitter is available in the form of an app and a website; “,”

Twitter feeds are chronologically structured; you can scroll through the latest tweets by users you follow in real-time as they are uploaded. Users can create accounts, tweet, like, retweet, quote retweets, and reply to tweets. Twitter also allows you to make your account private so only approved followers can see your tweets. 

Primary Features

These are the primary features of the app that Twitter users most frequently use. 

1. Tweet

This is the most prominent feature of the app and the whole reason for its popularity. Tweets are messages of 240 characters. Tweets can be posted in a series called “threads” to tell a more extended narrative. Content on Twitter is mainly created by small accounts run by ‘regular’ people. This gives users a break from ‘influencer culture’ on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.


2. Photo and Video Sharing

Twitter lets you share embedded content such as rich media and articles in tweets. Additionally, users can upload pictures and videos attached to their tweets. Previously, Twitter had a default feature that would crop media to an aspect ratio of 16:9. This meant that a bigger picture would only be fully viewable if you clicked on it and opened it. As of 2021, the platform has redesigned its interface to do away with the ‘Twitter crop,’ allowing users’ media to be fully displayed on their feeds. 

3. Fleets

Fleets are photos and videos you can upload that are only viewable for 24 hours before they expire. Fleets are the ‘stories’ of Twitter and were introduced in 2020. This allows users to post what they’re up to in their day-to-day affairs in real-time. 

4. Direct Messages

Users can send direct messages to each other on Twitter. Like Instagram, Twitter also lets you start message threads with multiple users. Twitter does not have ‘disappearing’ DMs and an “unsend” option, so you must be careful of what you send. 

5. Lists

Twitter users can create ‘Lists’ of accounts. These lists let you customize whose content you want to see specifically. For example, you can create a list of close friends and switch to that list when you’re scrolling through your feed on Twitter. 

6. Trends For You 

This is one of the app’s best features to discover and learn more about people’s opinions on current events and topics. Twitter has a ‘Trends For You” feature. This feature is guided by an algorithm that picks out words, phrases, and hashtags frequently used and creates local and international trends. With these features, users can stay up-to-date on trending topics and create trending topics to get the word out about whatever they want. 

The Bottom Line

Twitter is one of the world’s leading social networking platforms. It has popularized a whole new form of communication; “tweets”. Tweets allow you to compress information into small tidbits and microblog your opinions on what’s going on in the world.