Common Twitter, Facebook, and social network terms

Top 5 alternative Twitter apps for iPhone and iPad

Everything you need to know about the terms used and abused on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more!

Reading up on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Apple TV and wondering what all those social networking terms are? From follower to friend, RT to like, we've got you -- and every term we can think of -- covered below!

For even more iOS and Apple-related terms see our complete iPhone and iPad glossary and our guide to common Internet, SMS Text, and iMessage slang. And as always, if we're missing anything, add additions and corrections in the comments below!

  • @: Used to target specific Twitter users (also now adopted by app.net and Facebook). See Mention.
  • #: Used to create clickable search terms in Twitter (also now adopted by other social networks). Clicking on #iPhone would show a timeline of all other tweets with #iPhone in it.
  • +1: A way to "like" something so it shows up in your Google account
  • Check in: Submitting your location to Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, or similar location-based app.
  • Circle: A way to organize people you want to follow on Google+
  • DM: A "Direct Message" or private communication sent from you to another Twitter user who follows you. (You can only DM people who follow you.)
  • Follow: A uni-directional relationship in Twitter where you see another user's updates but they don't see yours, and they can DM you but you can't DM them back. (Unless you both choose to follow each other.)
  • Follower: Someone who Follows you on Twitter.
  • Friend: A bi-directional relationship in Facebook where you connect with another user and they're granted a connection back to you.
  • **Game Center:
  • Google+: Google's social network
  • Group: A way to connect Facebook friends into a small community with shared interest (e.g. you could create a Facebook group for your book club.)
  • iMessage: Apple's new SMS/MMS like instant messenger service
  • Instagram: A popular photo sharing network
  • Like: A way to share content on Facebook. When you "Like" a link (such as a TiPb story) it appears in your Facebook feed and your Friends have a chance of seeing it.
  • Mention: A way to make sure a specific Twitter user will get your post in their timeline. Requires you to put an @[username] into the tweet (e.g. @TiPb will make sure we see your tweet). If a tweet begins with an @mention only the specific user mentioned and people who follow both you and the specific user will see the message. If the @mention isn't at the beginning, anyone following you will also see it. (Previously called @replies.)
  • Messages: Facebook's new hybrid email, SMS, IM platform used to privately communicate with Facebook friends.
  • Page: A non-personal profile on Facebook or Google+, typically for clubs, businesses, etc.
  • Ping: Apple's social music network integrated into iTunes
  • RLRT: Real life re-tweet, or posting something you hear on the real world.
  • RT: A "Re-Tweet" or republishing another user's tweet to your own followers. Previously you had to copy/paste the tweet and manually add RT: [@username] in front of it. Now Twitter provides an automatic API for doing it (though some users still prefer "old style" manual re-tweets). -- Share: Post something you like, such as a link or picture or video, to your social network
  • Timeline: A list of a user's Twitter status updates in reverse chronological order.
  • Tweeps: Slang term for Twitter Peeps (People), aka your Followers.
  • Tweet: A Twitter posting, limited to 140 characters (so that the entire message and up to 30 character username can fit in a 160 character SMS text message).
  • Twoosh: A tweet of exactly 140 characters.
  • Via: an alternate form of re-publishing a tweet where, instead of prefacing with RT, a /via @[username] is placed at the end.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Common Twitter, Facebook, and social network terms

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