"Tweeting" has almost become as ubiquitous a verb as "googling", but if you're not sure what Twitter even is, you may be at a loss for words (or characters). Here's everything you need to know about Twitter.

October 10, 2017: Twitter's working on a way to let you privately save tweets for later

According to a tweet by Twitter Product Manager Jesar Shah, Twitter is in the process of building a "Save for Later" feature that will allow users to privately bookmark tweets without cluttering up their likes or using third party apps:

A native bookmarking feature has been a top priority request for many individuals for quite awhile now, especially in Japan. Up until this point, users have had to do things like send a tweet to themselves via direct message or use the "favorite" button (the little heart at the bottom of each tweet that adds it to your likes) in order to keep it handy. Now the goal is to have a list of bookmarked tweets that are private and separate from your likes so you can refer back to them at your leisure without the confusing connotation of publicly hitting the "like" button.

Shah noted that Twitter wants this to be a collaborative effort, saying that she and others working on the project will be tweeting to share designs and prototypes and asking for user feedback. If you have any ideas to contribute re: bookmarking, you can also tweet at Shah and her team using the hashtag #SaveForLater.

Because the project is in its early stages, there's no news yet about when users will be able to try it out. If you'd like to find out more, you can follow Shah as well as Product Designer Tina Koyama for updates.

Sept. 6, 2017: You can now enable Twitter's "night mode" on its web client!

Twitter's dropdown menu in night mode

Heads up if you have sensitive eyes: Twitter's eye strain-reducing "night mode" theme, once only available on Twitter's iOS and Android apps, is now available for web. Even better, it's incredibly easy to enable. Here's how:

  1. Go to your Twitter timeline.
  2. Click on your own profile photo in the top right-hand corner.
  3. If the feature is available to you, you'll see "Night Mode" next to a small moon icon at the very bottom of the dropdown menu.
  4. Click it, and you're done! Your timeline should now be a dark blue and much gentler on the eyes in low light.

Whether you're making the change for your eye health or just because you dig how it looks, you'll now be able to more easily keep up with your social media at all hours. Nice!

What is Twitter?

It's a social media platform, like Facebook, that lets users share quips, photos, videos, GIFs, and more, all in 140 characters or less. It was founded and launched in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams.

It comes in both web and app form and is available for iOS and Android. There are also many third-party apps that help you manage your Twitter feeds more easily, like Tweetbot.

How does Twitter work?

Twitter runs on "Tweets" — 140-character posts that Twitter users make and then broadcast to all of their followers. You follow other Twitter users by creating your own profile and then searching for them or clicking "Follow" on suggested users.

Twitter also supports the addition of photos, short videos, and (most recently) GIFs, so you can jazz up your tweets to make them more appealing. When you follow people, all of their tweets will show up on your feed in a long, scrolling column. This makes Twitter somewhat ephemeral and designed for quick interaction.


You know the incredibly annoying trend where people say "hashtag" before something, out loud? You can thank Twitter for that! In order to group tweets and hopefully make your tweets for noticeable in the void that is the Twittersphere, you can add phrases or words to your tweets and precede them with the pound sign or "hashtag". This tags your tweet so that when people search Twitter for specific terms, your tweet pops up. #craycray #amirite?

Who's on Twitter?


Well, maybe not everybody, but there are roughly 328 million monthly active users, including celebrities, athletes, writers, artists, bands, and more. If you have a favorite actor or singer, chances are they have Twitter. In fact, celebrities will often tweet back to "regular" people. Kiss me, I'm Twitter famous.

I heard Twitter isn't long for this world. Is that true?

While it's true that Twitter has seen some rather slow growth in the last couple years and finished off 2016 $456 million in the hole, it's likely that the platform will be around in some incarnation or another for quite a while.

In fact, on the day of 2016 U.S. presidential election, 40 million election-related tweets were sent by 10 p.m., making Twitter the biggest source of breaking election news that day.

Twitter TV

It's a thing... kind of. Twitter TV is going to be a 24/7 streaming service that offers everything from TV shows to regular, everyday people streaming their lives (á la Facebook Live).

Read more: Twitter TV?

Tweet the deets

Do you use Twitter? Do you like it or would you rather stick with Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!