If you’re new to Twitter (great to have you here, it might seem alien, but hang in there and it will pay off), a lot of the stuff you see on your timeline can seem – iffy. You might wonder why there’s a person tweeting themselves. What are they – crazy? Because there’s only 140 characters to play with here, users have invented hacks to get around the limit. We’ll talk about some of the successful phenomenons below.
1. Quote Retweet
The most surprising part of Quote Retweet is that it’s a native feature in Twitter. Before, you needed to manually quote the entire text of the tweet, add the “RT” abbreviation and then add your comments. And all of that had to fit in 140 characters. Of course, there had to be a better way.
When you Quote Retweet, a link to the original tweet is added to the end of the tweet. A user can click it to see the tweet you’re referring to. The great thing is that Twitter now shows the original tweet in a block quote-like box. So now you can use almost all of the 140 characters to provide your witty commentary on the original tweet.
People want an easy way to rant or vent. They don’t want to blog. They use Twitter. Enter tweetstorm. Tweetstorm is a series of tweets, often numbered, from one single user, talking about a subject at length. The phenomenon is so popular that there is even a website dedicated to “curating” tweetstorms. Tweetstorm.io is the new Storify.
And recently, tweetstorm has given way to retweetstorm. This is where a person retweets something on the same topic in a short period of time, usually to strengthen their own argument.
3. Self Tweet
It looks seriously weird, but once you get used to it, it is second nature. Self tweet is when you reply to your own tweet. This became popular after Twitter started chaining replies on their app and websites. Usually, when you tweet, there are followup tweets. Instead of saying that you’re referring to a previous tweet or adding numbers, just reply to the tweet you posted before.
It will be easier for you and your followers to find the original tweet to understand just what you’re going on about.
Of all the new stuff twitterratis have been cooking up, this one is my favorite. I’ve expressed my love for tweetshots and textshots multiple times, in detail. In the last couple of years, twitterrati has been trying to post more than 140 characters. They created special websites. But then you had to click a link, and it defeated the purpose.
And then Twitter embraced images in tweets – auto-expanding embedded images. And then it struck. You could add text as images and get around the 140 character limit. And what a way it was! Images are of course more eye catching. It’s a great way to get your point across. Many apps and services have popped up to help you create tweetshots – OneShot on iOS being my favorite. Even apps like Pocket and Instapaper let you share highlighted text as tweetshots.
And no, a screenshot doesn’t qualify as a tweetshot or textshot.
MT is one of the older Twitter jargons. It goes along with RT. MT means a Modified Tweet. A user tried their hardest, but they just couldn’t use the original tweet on the whole. Maybe it didn’t let them add their own comments, or it had something they needed to take out. Whenever you come across an MT, I’d advise you to check the original tweet for more context.
Do You “Get” Twitter?
To be honest, sometimes even I don’t understand parts of Twitter. There are some groups that just use their own lingo, and it’s hard to make sense of everything. This is so rampant that Reply All, a podcast about the Internet, has a special segment called “Yes Yes No” where they explain to the network’s founder all the weird stuff going on in Twitter.
What about you, though? Is there some particular thing about Twitter that you just don’t get? Share with us in the comments below, and I’ll try my best to help you out.
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