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6 min read

What is a Twitter Hashtag and 80 Other Twitter Terms?

What is a Twitter Hashtag and 80 Other Twitter Terms?

Twitter Translated: 80 of Twitter’s Terms Defined

Since 2006, Twitter users have been scrolling through their feeds, shooting off a DM or two, checking in on the latest trends, tapping to favorite or to retweet or, if they are feeling really passionate—both. Yes, one could say the Twitterverse is a happening place, hooked together hashtag by hashtag… unless, of course you run into a FailWhale and all goes gray. Now, that’s a bad day. You know what I mean?TWITTER-HASHTAG

In all honesty, you probably don’t. To you, all of that—whatever that was—is just gobbledygook, a foreign language created by and for a foreign generation. Hipsters, Millennials, whichever you prefer, are the ones sending this bird-inspired social networking soaring to new heights. Unfortunately, those altitudes are often above your level of understanding, but, not for long.

Below is a glossary of 80 Twitter terms, covering everything from the basics to its shorthand and slang, from trouble you should look out for to the tools at your disposal. So, put an end to your ceaseless Google searches and let this list be your guide into a much more pleasant Twitter experience, Twitter translated.


The Beginner’s Basics


  1. @mention: adding the “@” sign in front of a Twitter username tags this entity in your post and sends him or her a notification so he or she can view the tweet
  2. Direct Messages (DMs): private messages sent and received between users; similar to last decade’s instant messaging service or Facebook’s chat capabilities
  3. FailWhale: the cartoon whale that appears when you attempt to load a page and its servers are overextended
  4. Feed: the homepage or main wall of one’s Twitter account on which one may view the tweets of those he or she follows
  5. Follower: someone who has subscribed to your page so that he or she can view all of your posts and updates on his or her feed; they follow you, but you don’t have to follow them
  6. FollowFriday (FF): a tradition established in 2009 in which a user encourages his/her followers to check out the people mentioned in the post followed by “#followfriday” so it can be searched
  7. Twitter Hashtag: previously known as a number sign or the pound key, the “#” symbol followed by a word or phrase is a method of organization and collection that links tweets together based upon common subjects
  8. Metrics: factors of Twitter usage measured to inform a user of the return resulting from his or her time investment
  9. Microsharing or Microblogging: the category of social media networks that includes Twitter characterized by the sharing of very short, often character-limited statuses
  10. Reply: a response to a post (tweet) that uses an @mention to attract the user’s attention; it is public, not private and, therefore, it can be seen by anyone and everyone who follows that user
  11. Retweet: essentially a re-posting of another page’s tweet with the goal of sharing its content with the retweeter’s own followers
  12. Selfie: a picture one takes of him or herself, usually using the front-facing camera on a mobile device; posted in large quantities on Twitter, especially on weekends due to trends such as “#selfiesaturday” and “#selfiesunday”
  13. Subtweet: a post alluding to another user without stating his or her name or username for the purpose of complaining, calling out, and so on (ex: why are you so stupid?”)
  14. Trending: a term attributed to Twitter’s most popular people and pages based upon the frequency of their hashtags; popularity that fluctuates in response to current trends in sports, entertainment, etc.
  15. Tweet: a status or updated posted on the Twitter feed for other users to see that is limited to 140 characters
  16. Unfollow: to remove a user’s tweets from your feed, or homepage; the user will NOT be notified, nor will he or she be denied access to viewing your tweets or page
  17. Via: used to cite one’s source and/or to grant credit to the origin of a tweet’s content



Shorthand and Slang

  1. AFAIK: “as far as I know”; a common disclaimer alerting viewer(s) that content may be subjective due to creator’s limited knowledge
  2. b/c: “because”
  3. b4: “before”
  4. BFN: “bye for now”
  5. BR: “best regards”; old-world courtesy expressed in new-world brevity
  6. cre8: “create”
  7. da: often used as a shorter, arguably more trendy form of “the”
  8. detweet: a tweet that is posted but soon after deleted
  9. EM/eml: “Email me” or just “email”
  10. EMA: “email address”
  11. F2F: “face-to face”; yes, believe it or not, users do still mention and request personal, real-world interaction on social media networks
  12. Friendapalooza: when a user goes on a following rampage, adding a large quantity of followers within a much smaller time frame
  13. Friendscrapping: when a user decides to follow friends of his or her friend as if they are his or hers also
  14. FTW: “for the win”; used to express support for someone or something (ex: sleeping in on Saturday FTW or #FTW)
  15. HAND: “Have a nice day!”
  16. HT: “hat tip”; followed by an @mention to give credit to another user for his or her content
  17. idk: “I don’t know”
  18. IMO: “in my opinion”; warning readers of a user’s personal bias
  19. kk: can mean “okay” or “kewl kewl” (“cool cool”)
  20. MT: “modified tweet”; alerts viewers that the tweet they are reading has been shortened to fit the character limit, but is still meant to convey the same message or idea of the original
  21. NTS: “note to self”; often used to mark content one wants to revisit later and/or remember
  22. PRT: “please retweet”; a public plead for retweets of content a user finds especially important and/or entertaining usually attributed to tear-jerkers about abused puppies or terminally ill children
  23. SMH: “shaking my head”; meant to signal a user’s disapproval of the topic being discussed
  24. SNS: “Social Network Site”; sites on which users create an account to connect with other users via the sharing of multimedia content
  25. TBH/TBQH: “to be honest” or “to be quite honest”; used to signal the oncoming approach of brutal, often unfiltered honesty
  26. TFTF: “thanks for the follow”; means of thanking another user for choosing to follow you
  27. TMB: “tweet me back”; tells another user you want a response from them on something
  28. Twaffic: “Twitter traffic”; high traffic on a page usually reflects a state of trending popularity
  29. Tweeple, Twerson, & Twitterverse: the people, persons, and universe of the social network Twitter
  30. Tweeps: “Twitter peeps” or the closest friends a user has as followers and/or is following on Twitter
  31. Tweetorial: “Twitter tutorial”; refers to the delivery of a tutorial or lecture within the Twitter site or about the site out in the real world
  32. Tweettiquette: “Twitter etiquette”; the set of unspoken manners understood between users that, when violated, can spawn vicious cyber-fights
  33. Tweetup: a meet-up scheduled by Twitter users through Twitter tweets or direct messages
  34. Twewbie: a Twitter newbie who is thereby unfamiliar with the site
  35. Twinfluence: “Twitter influence”
  36. Twitterati: Twitter’s illuminati, often celebrities, who boast impressively higher follower counts; people who common users follow and dream to earn a follow back from
  37. Twittworking: “Twitter networking”; applied to people and companies that use the social networking platform to connect with fellow users in a business sense (i.e. develop contacts, build consumer base, etc.)


Trouble Makers and Tricks


  1. Bots: accounts controlled by artificial intelligence rather than living, breathing people; without human needs, they are always logged in, ready to carry out whatever it is they are programmed to do—whether it be good for users or not
  2. Crank Tweet: associate “crank” with prank; a tweet that intentionally misleads users in hopes of provoking them to follow a bogus page or click on a virus-embedded link (ex: faked celebrity death posts)
  3. Spammers: those who flood users with meaningless tweets and/or direct messages that can contain hacking viruses
  4. Period before @mention: placing a period BEFORE a @mention to allow all followers of you and the user you are mentioning, not just those you have in common, to view the tweet on their feeds
  5. Trolls: users who take unfair advantage of the social platform to intentionally harass its users by means of unethical behavior such as spamming, over-sharing, insulting, twitter fighting and so on
  6. Twishing: “Twitter phishing”; the efforts made by another user, website, or other entity targeted at obtaining your account username and password


Tools for Tweeting


  1. Autopostr: links a Twitter profile to one on Flickr so that users are alerted whenever you post a photo on Flickr
  2. BiggerTwitter: an application that expands the character count limit past 140 characters so an entity can share more content on a single tweet
  3. Bit.ly: a service the reduces the length of URLs to 20 characters so they fit within a tweet’s character limits
  4. Blackbird Pie: a tool used to embed your tweets into your website pages or blog postings through the tweet’s URL in substitution for the copy and paste method
  5. Friend or Follow: a website that reveals whether or not the users you follow are following you
  6. Geotwitter: a site users can visit to track the geographical source of Twitter’s most recently shared tweets
  7. Goo.gl: Google’s URL shrinking tool
  8. GroupTweet: an application that enables users to send messages that can only be seen by a certain chosen group of their Twitter friends
  9. InnerTwitter: reminder tool that tells users to take breaks from the site at chosen or random time intervals daily and to spend those moments in meditation with their inner-selves
  10. LinkBunch: bunches multiple links into one for easier sharing and easier access
  11. LoudTwitter: tool that displays Twitter updates on a user’s blog page
  12. Monitter: gives users the capability to track a set of three key words and their appearance in tweets on Twitter
  13. Natter: application that carries your tweets over onto your Facebook
  14. Twadget: a tool that enables users to tweet via the Twitter Vista Sidebar Gadget
  15. Tweet Effect: reveals which of your tweets prompted others to follow or unfollow you
  16. TweetLevel: measures a user’s Twitter stature through the assessment of 4 metrics: (1) influence, (2) engagement, (3) popularity, and (4) trust
  17. TweetStats: a tool that tracks usage statistics such as tweets per hour and tweets per month
  18. Twibs: application that helps users locate businesses on Twitter
  19. TwitPic: an application that allows users to pictures to the app and, immediately, this app will post a tweet linked to the picture and the caption the user created for it
  20. Twitscoop: a search tool that aids users in their following of trending topics

The ever expanding world of Twitter and slang used to communicate with each other will only continue. These are just a few of the terms that are being used today, tomorrow is a whole other story.

80 Twitter Terms Translated

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