The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter

By WebdesignerDepot Staff Posted Mar. 24, 2009 Reading time: 24 minutes

Twitter isn’t just a cute way for keeping in instant touch with friends on mobile phones anymore. It has ramped up quickly to be the search engine of choice for some with its human driven results.

Applications galore allow you to find friends all over the world with similar interests and keep up with them in real time.

Businesses can form instant direct relationships with their customer bases simply by signing up and using the service regularly, and according to the models Twitter is trying out, they will soon be able to advertise to the Twitter community as well. It has grown into a behemoth that is hard to get your hands around, which is why we’ve put this article together for you.

We’ve compiled an alphabetized glossary here for you so that you can just scan down the list and find the term that you are looking for, as well as a list of popular Twitter applications and instructions for incorporating Twitter into your website and blogs.

 

Twitter Basics

If you had no idea what Twitter was walking into this article, we’re going to start you off at the very beginning. To sign up for Twitter, go to twitter.com and click on “Get Started – Join!”. Fill out the information and voila – you have your own Twitter account. I set up two accounts; one on my personal name, and one for my business. It’s important to grab your names before someone else does, even if you don’t plan on using the account for a while.

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Then, set up your profile. We’ve found a few free Twitter backgrounds that you can download below, but for now just stick to the ones that Twitter has given you to choose from. You can change these in your “Settings”, the link for which is located under your picture on your profile page on the right sidebar. Be sure to include your website and information about yourself since Twitter people actually want to know these things.

design
You’ll also want to upload a current photo of yourself. If you are running your account as a business, you should use your logo instead.design2

The next step is to build your network. Twitter will allow you to import e-mail lists, contacts from instant messaging services, and you can find your friends on their search engine. The best way to build a list of interesting people is to go to the Twitter search engine at search.twitter.com and plug in your interests. This will then spit tons of people back out at you that you can choose to follow. Twitter will also give you some suggestions for people to follow.

Twitter has compiled a list of Suggested Users that they give when you first sign up with Twitter. This list has been the source of some contention in the news lately. It’s a collection of popular Twitter users that Twitter just picks at random for you to follow.

search

“Following” someone is the same thing as adding them as a Facebook friend, except that they don’t see your updates unless they choose to follow you as well. Generally the best way to get followers is to add people based on your interests, as most people will follow you once you start following them.

Once you start following someone, their updates, or “Tweets”, will appear in your “timeline”, or your Twitter feed. If you find someone is getting on your nerves with too many senseless Tweets, go ahead and remove them by going to their profile page on the Twitter site; you may do this by clicking on their name. Click the arrow beside “Following” just below the top of their profile page and then click “Remove”.

To post your messages, or “Tweets”, go to your profile page and type your tweet into the box provided. Applications like the ones referenced below make the process a bit easier and remove the need to visit the website to make your updates.

updatingfeed

Twitter was built to accommodate being updated from phones. The origin of the 140 character limit is the 160 character limit for SMS, which leaves some space for a name in addition to a 140 character message. There are a series of commands that can only be used via mobile phone that are explained in our glossary. To get help with any phone-related Twitter questions, visit Twitter’s extensive FAQ on the subject.

In order to enable updates from your phone, first check with your mobile provider to make sure that you have a plan that allows you to update Twitter via text message at a reasonable cost – some Canadian customers may run into issues here. US customers can send their Twitter messages to 40404. While Twitter doesn’t charge, the standard text messaging rates from your provider still apply, so be careful. A full list of Twitter phone numbers for any country in the world can be found here.

For a simple breakdown on what Twitter is in plain English, watch this video.

 

How to get more followers

The first quest of a new Twitter user is to add followers who are interested in the same topics as they are. Once you’ve exhausted your personal and professional contacts, where do you go from there? The way most people take is the one described above, where you search Twitter for your interests and add people based on those interests.

There has been a lot written about this topic and we’ve included links to some more high-profile articles by Darren Rowse at ProBlogger. Here are some tips from the pros:

Tweet From the Heart

While keeping in mind that everything you do on Twitter is public, make sure that your tweets are always coming from a place of honesty and transparency. Put real emotion in your tweets and your followers will stay with you. If you don’t treat Twitter as a more personal experience and spam it with sales messages, you will get unfollowed very quickly.

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Give Your Followers Value

Answer questions that your followers have if you know the answer. Share helpful tips for your industry that don’t have to do with your followers buying your product. Tell a joke. Always give your followers something that they can take away from the conversation and use. They will recommend you to your friends and you will generate tweets that will encourage new people to follow you.

Tweet in Peak Times

Peak times are basically during the day throughout the work week. If you want to account for time differences in North America, aim for morning to early afternoon.

Tweet Regularly

Tweet often, but only if you have something of value to say. You should aim for a few tweets a day. Do not install a bot program to Tweet for you – your followers will figure it out and unfollow you. If you are taking off for a few days use a service like TweetLater to schedule your tweets.

Leverage your Other Online Properties

If you have something of value to offer online, like a blog or a website, share updates that you make to it or new postings that you have written. If you don’t yet have an online profile to speak of, consider building a blog or website so that you can offer your followers more value. If you complete a new website for a client, share it with your followers to get some great real time feedback and make them feel like they are part of the process.

Create a Custom Profile Page Background

This tells your potential followers that you care about your Twitter presence and will probably be a good person to follow.

probloggerbackground

Give Out Free Stuff

Sitepoint grew their followers by 10,000 in a week. All they did was give away a free e-book that was usually only for sale as a paper book to anyone who followed them on Twitter or gave them their e-mail address.

Obey the Law of Reciprocity

Retweet other user’s tweets when you think they are relevant or you can help them out. Do unto others as you would have done to you and you’ll be a valued member of the community.

Resources for Getting More Twitter Followers

5 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Presence
Darren Rowse, ProBlogger


All of Darren Rowse’s Posts on the Subject

Darren Rowse, ProBlogger & Twitip

 

Twitter History

Twitter was founded in San Francisco in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. The four were participants in an R&D project with Odeo, a podcasting company. In October of 2006 the company was purchased by the senior management and the company Obvious was started by former Odeo employees to operate Odeo and Twitter. Twitter rapidly gained popularity until April 2007, when Obvious spun the company off into Twitter, Inc.
evanwilliams1

Since then the question has been how Twitter will make money. Founder Evan Williams is “encouraged by” the fact that there is a lot of commercial use of the service already, some of which they may be able to charge for. He also states in the interview linked below with Charlie Rose that they haven’t really figured out how to monetize Twitter yet, but the service won’t die because there is no immediate way to monetize. There is too much interest in Twitter. Twitter did start experimenting with text advertising as of March 2009, according to Techcrunch.

 

Twitter Etiquette

Remember that Twitter is Public

The first rule of Twitter is that it is more permanent than the internet. When you post something, at least one person is going to read it and have a memory of that event. Unless you lock your profile, all of your tweets are public record and searchable, forever. While Twitter is all about honesty and just being yourself, you have to act like you are writing something that your parents will eventually read.

Read this story if you think your direct messages are safe from prying eyes.

Avoid Banal Food Updates

Unless you narrowly avoided death by eating a puffer fish, nobody really wants to know about what you are eating today. If you ate at a cool restaurant and want to recommend it, that is fine. Dissecting what you had for lunch if you just went to McDonalds is not. Just ask yourself if this is interesting to your followers – if the answer is “yes”, then it’s OK to tweet.

Tweet Accomplishments Sparingly

If you went live with a new site or posted an article on a blog, that is exactly what Twitter is for. If you have over twenty new posts a day on your site, tweet only the more interesting ones.

Tweet Really Interesting Stuff Only

If you read an article that completely rocks your world, tweet it. If articles are rocking your world a number of times a day, pick only the few that rock your world the most.

Don’t Tweet Confidential Stuff

Tell someone that you’ll go “off-Twitter” if you need to talk about something that you don’t want the world to know about. Remember that your tweets are searchable unless you have locked your account. Even then, it isn’t a good idea as we all know privacy is never guaranteed online.

Snip Your URL’s

Use any one of the URL snipping services out there, like TinyURL, to shorten your links to something manageable. Most Twitter users snip their URL’s regardless of their size just to keep them readable. You can also set up many of the Twitter clients available to automatically snip any URL that is entered.

tinyurl

Profanity

Just don’t. If you absolutely have to swear in the context of what you are saying, use $#%% characters instead of the swear word.

Twitter is not an IM Client

The basic idea behind Twitter is to produce occasional status updates, not hold personal conversations. Conversations with more than one person are exactly what Twitter is for and these should be encouraged, but if it is obvious that there is only one other participant take it off-Twitter to an IM client.

Try Not To Use Abbreviations

IM contractions like 4 U and the like are best left to IM’s, although most people still use them. For personal tweets, they’re OK. In business tweets, they are best left out.

Automatic Direct Messages

If you are going to use a service like TweetLater to send automatic direct messages to people who sign up to follow you, keep it short and not sales related. If people like what they see of you on Twitter, they will go to your website and read up on you there. Twitter is for relating, not for selling. Unless you are woot.com – they seem to have broken the mold on that one. They do it with a very specific business model, one that doesn’t use sales language or any of the standard spam methods.

 

Twitter Glossary

Twitter has started posting definitions of common Twitter terms on your profile page, beneath your picture. Note: If a term is classed as a “phone command”, it will only work from your phone. Your web tweets will go on functioning the same way. For anything that isn’t on this list, you can go to Twittonary.com, type your term in, and get a definition instantly.

twittonary1

# sign
The hash sign is used to mark a word as a keyword, which denotes a “hashtag”. More on hashtags further down the list.

@ reply
The @ sign is used to indicate that you are replying to a specific username. For example, if DickCheney tweets a question about font tags, you will reply with @reply DickCheney “nobody uses font tags anymore, try CSS” or something of the sort. Remember that when you use @reply it is visible to everyone – for private communications use a direct message.

140 character limit
Twitter messages are meant to be short. Most people don’t even go up to the 140 character limit when posting a tweet. This is the reason for utilities like URL snippers, which we’ll get to.

Block
The act of blocking a particular user name from following your tweets. You block someone by clicking on their profile and choosing “Block” on the right sidebar.

d USERNAME
Updating Tweets from a Mobile Device: You can send tweets from any mobile device using text messaging. Text “d YOURUSERNAME” and your tweet and send it to 40404, Twitter’s text message number.

Direct Messages
Direct Messages are sent from twitter by entering d RECIPIENTUSERNAME Text of Message.

DM
This stands for direct message, which is the Twitter equivalent to e-mail. You may only send direct messages to those following you. To do so, click on “Direct Message” on their profile and type out your message, again only up to 140 characters. Automatic direct messages can be set up to thank someone for following you using a free service such as TweetLater. Keep in mind that you cannot send Direct Messages to people that are not following you, even if you are following them. This is Twitter’s built-in spam protection.

Drunktwittering
Drunk dialing on Twitter.

Dweet
Related to above, Tweet sent while drunk.

Failwhale
The whale logo that pops up when the Twitter service crashes.

twitterisovercapacity

FAV
You can favourite a tweet by typing FAV in all caps plus their username. This will automatically favourite the last tweet from that user.

Feed
Your posts on Twitter are commonly referred to as your “Twitter feed”, or “timeline”.

FOLLOW username
Phone command. This command sends the message that you want to follow a specific user on Twitter.

Followers
People who follow your updates.

Friendapalooza
A round of friending on Twitter.

Geotwitter
Type it in to get the geolocation of the most recent tweets.

GET username
Retrieves the most recent tweet from that user.

Hashtags
Hashtags, such as #BSG for “Battlestar Galactica”, denote groupings on Twitter for popular, commonly referenced items. You can follow updates on hashtags in real time at Hashtags.org They were developed as a means to create groupings on Twitter.

In order to have hashtags tracked, start following @hashtags on Twitter. It will follow you automatically and your use of hashtags will be tracked. Hashtags became popular during the San Diego fire, when Nate Ritter used the hashtag #sandiegofire to chronicle his updates of the event. Since then they have been used to track specific events in real time on a regular basis.hashtags

INVITE phonenumber
This will send a Twitter invite to a mobile phone.

LEAVE username
Phone command. Sends the message that you wish to stop following a certain user.

Locking Your Profile
You can “lock” your profile so that only friends can see your updates by scrolling down to the bottom of your “Settings” tab on the Twitter website and clicking the box beside “Protect My Updates”. This may deprive you of followers who would have otherwise followed you based on keywords in your posts and isn’t advised for general use. You would only want this if you wanted to use Twitter, but need to avoid public communication for a specific reason. Even celebrities have public profiles on Twitter.

Microblog
Twitter is a microblogging platform. A shorter and usually more immediate version of a blog.

mistweet
Similar to “mistell”, a term coined by gamers, a mistweet is a tweet that you will regret. You can delete your tweets on your profile page, but everyone on your follow list will still have seen it when it was posted.

NUDGE username
Reminds one of your friends to update.

off-Twitter
A variant of “offline”, usually used when someone wants to share something with someone privately.

OFF
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone off.

OFF username
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone from a certain user off.

ON
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone on.

ON username
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone from a certain user on.

Public Timeline
The timeline of all public Tweets. Seen here.

ReporTwitters
Reporters publishing tweets in conjunction with their articles or broadcasts.

RT/Retweeting

This stands for retweeting, the process whereby you repost someone else’s Twitter post on your feed. The proper form for this is:
RT #usernameyouarerequotingfrom “text of the retweet”
. You are specifying that it is a retweet and putting in the full username so others on your list can choose to follow them if they like it.

Search
Go to search.twitter.com to search tweets for a specific keyword. Also, http://twitter.com/invitations/find_on_twitter will allow you to search by name.

searchtwitter

STATS
This is a command that returns how many people you are following, how many people are following you, and which words you are tracking.

TinyURL

Name of the most popular URL snipping service which trims URL lengths to allow for inclusion in twitter messages. Located at tinyurl.com. There are others out there but this is the most commonly used one.

Twactor
Someone who impersonates another person on Twitter.

Twittcrastination
Using Twitter to procrastinate.

Twadd
The act of adding someone as your friend.

Twaffic
Traffic on Twitter.

Twaggle
A bunch of followers.

Twaigslist
To sell something via Twitter.

Twaiting
Twittering while waiting for something.

Tweeps/Tweeples
A cluster of friends on Twitter. Frequently used to address all of your followers at once, e.g.”Morning, Tweeples!”.

Tweet-back

Bringing a previous tweet back into the current conversation.

Tweeter
A Twitter user.

Tweeterbox
Someone who Tweets too much.

Tweetard
Someone acting like an idiot on Twitter.

Tweetheart
Another way to refer to friends on Twitter.

TweetIn
A group of users agree on a set time to Twitter to each other.

Tweets
A collection of posts on Twitter.

Twerminology

Lingo used on Twitter. See this Glossary.

Twhepard
Twitter employee that restores your lost followers if you have lost them due to a technical glitch.

Twhiner
A Twitter user who posts a high number of negative items.

Twike
To ride a bicycle while Twittering. Don’t ask for a how-to.

Twis
A “dis” of a fellow Twitterer. Not a good idea since everything on Twitter is public.

Twittectomy
The act of unfollowing someone on Twitter.

Twitterati
The Twitter L33T. This is not a comprehensive list at all, but it is generally accepted that a member of the Twitterati has 30,000 or more followers. A very nice graphing of Twitterati networks is available here.

toptwitterer

Twitterbate
This was meant to be a comprehensive list. Self-explanatory, but the mental images are disturbing.

Twitterific

Something awesome related to Twitter.

Twittering

To send a Twitter message.

Twitteritas
Ladies who use Twitter.

Twitterject
To insert your tweet in an ongoing conversation between other people on Twitter.

Twitterlooing

The act of Twittering from a bathroom.

Twitterphoria

What you feel when something good happens on Twitter, like being followed or retweeted.

Twittermob
Similar to a “flashmob”, this is a bunch of people who descend on an often ill-prepared location based on a Twitter message.

Twitterstream
The Twitter timeline, both your own and the public one.

Twittfessional

A confession made on Twitter.

Twittosphere
The community of Twitter users.

Twittworking
Networking with other Twitter users.

Twoogle
Twitter as the human version of Google, since you can post a question and get instant results.

Twoops
Sending a private message to Twitter by accident.

Twoosh
A full 140 character Twitter message.

Twurvey
A survey conducted over Twitter.

Twype
Typing a Twitter message.

WHOIS username
Gets profile information for a Twitter user.

 

Twitter in the News

Most of the mainstream news media articles on Twitter lately seem to be focusing on the negatives of the technology while having to admit that not only is Twitter useful, it is here to stay.

You can tell from the headlines on some of them that they are trying to capitalize on the “Twitter Backlash”, a cultural moment that reached its apex when Brian Williams, an anchorman on MSNBC news, offered up to Jon Stewart that he would never use Twitter. The rest are an interview with Evan Williams and positive articles on the use of Twitter in small business.


Juror in Hot Water for Tweeting During Trial

In a recent case worth $12.6 million in settlement dollars in the US, one of the jurors was found to be tweeting during the trial. This may have some serious legal implications for the juror, particularly since he was telling his followers to divest stock in the company being sued.
stoam

Shut Up About Twitter Already
Despite the title, the author grudgingly admits that Twitter has its usefulness.

Twitter’s Not a Google Killer
This Slate article argues for the usefulness of Twitter as an integral tool and against recent charges that it could be a Google or Facebook killer.

Tweet Smell of Success

This article argues for adoption of Twitter by small business and reports on the success of crowdsourcing via Twitter versus traditional media coverage.

Evan Williams on Charlie Rose
In this 2 minute outtake, Mr. Williams, the founder of Twitter, talks about the 140 character limit on Twitter. Those who want the full 22 minute interview can click here to see it.

Facebook Moving Into Twitter Territory
A San Francisco Chronicle story about how Facebook’s redesign is moving them towards being a more Twitter-like service.

Digg Founder Kevin Rose Founds Twitter Directory
Rose’s new Twitter directory lists the top twitter users for tags that they want to be associated with. Send a reply message to @wefollow #yourtags #yourtags #yourtags where the “yourtags” are the keywords that you want to be associated with.

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Techcrunch Talks about the Amount and Value of Twitter Traffic
This article is in response to the request of some parties to pay to be a “recommended” person to follow by Twitter. Techcrunch reports on their own experience with being a recommended user name to follow with some interesting results.

Twitter Suggested Users – Problem and Solution
User suggestions by Twitter draw ire of some Twitter Users

Problems and Solutions for Twitter Suggested Users
This article discusses the offer of $120k for one of the “Suggested Users” Twitter spots from a prominent blogger.

 

Twitter Rank

The following sites rank Twitter users based on various criteria.

Twitterholic
Top 100 lists based on updates, followers, and friends.

twitterholic

TwitterCounter
Top 100 most popular Twitter users with awesome graphs.

Twittown
The unofficial Twitter community has top 150 lists of followers, updaters, and people who are following. More than just a ranking site, Twittown covers news, tools and just about everything Twitter.
twittown

Twittergrader
This application generates a report on where a user ranks and what their history is like. Addictive.

Twitterposter
A visual representation of the degree of influence of Twitter users.

 

Blogs and News Sites to Follow on Twitter

BoingBoing
boingboing

Slashdot

Mashable

TechCrunch
techcrunch1

WebdesignerDepot

BBC News

CNN

Huge list of newspapers on Twitter and their statistics

 

20 Most Popular Twitter Users

According to Twitterholic, March 13, 2009

1. CNN (cnnbrk)
Breaking News on CNN

2. Barack Obama (BarackObama)

3. Twitter (twitter)
Twitter’s own twitter feed.

4. Britney Spears(britneyspears)

5. Ashton Kucher (aplusk)

6. The New York Times (nytimes)

7. Stephen Fry (stephenfry)
This actor has accumulated quite the 2.0 following with a blog and Twitter feed that provides substantial, interesting content.
stephenfry

8. Jimmy Fallon (jimmyfallon)

9. Al Gore (algore)

10. THE_REAL_SHAQ (THE_REAL_SHAQ)
The famous basketball player displays more wit than you could imagine, as per this recent post: “forget tony danza I’m da boss“.

11. Lance Armstrong (lancearmstrong)

12. Kevin Rose (kevinrose)

13. Evan Williams (ev)
The CEO of Twitter.

14. NPR Politics (nprpolitics)

15. Coldplay (coldplay)

16. Pete Cashmore (mashable)
mashable

17. woot.com (woot)
This site defies any advice that Twitter can’t be used for sales by posting very interesting items and their prices, with links. They only sell one item per day until it is sold out. They claim that they will only achieve profitability by 2043.

18. Wil Wheaton (wilw)
wilwheaton

19. Zappos.com CEO Tony (zappos)

20. Whole Foods Market (WholeFoods)

 

Twitter Apps and Services

Disclaimer: By Evan Williams’ own admission, there are over 2000 third-party apps for Twitter out there. We’ve given you a representative list of the most commonly used ones here. If we’ve left one out that you feel should be here, please post it in the comments section.

BiggerTwitter
Lets you post larger tweets by posting a link to the rest of your message.

BigTweet
A bookmarklet for your browser, BigTweet lets you tweet from anywhere online, making cutting and pasting from sites easy. Available for IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

BLT
Ever wanted to view your tweets from the command line in Unix? Yes you can.

Chirrup
A client for Twitter with Japanese language support.

Cursebird
A website which collates profane tweets for endless hours of amusement.

Destroy Twitter
A compact Twitter application that displays incoming tweets in a temporary window in the upper right hand corner of your screen and allows you to choose to save, reply or retweet under each message.
destroytwitter

FriendFeed
A site that lets you view all public feeds.

Friend or Follow
Lets you see who you are following that isn’t following you in return.

friendorfollowFuelFrog
Use Twitter to keep track of your gas and mileage with this application.

GroupTweet
This service lets you sent private messages to selected groups on Twitter.

grouptweet1

m.Twitter
Twitter’s own way of delivering your Twitter feed to your mobile device without a third-party application. Simply point your smartphone internet browser to m.twitter.com, sign in, and your feed will be there.

Mr. Tweet
A personal networking assistant for Twitter. Recommends users to you based on your interests, suggests who you should unfollow based on lack of activity.

mrtweet1

My Tweetheart
Dating service for the Twitter community. Online dating sites just became so 2001.

tweetheartSplitTweet
A must-have if you have more than one Twitter account. Suggested for heavy and corporate users.

Straw Poll

Create polls and see what other Twitter users are voting on with this visually appealing service.

strawpoll2Turn This Thing Off
It turns off the ability to receive Automatic DM’s from services like “TweetLater”.

TweetBeep
This service sends you an alert whenever specified terms are mentioned on Twitter. Like Google Alerts, only for Twitter.

Tweetdeck
One of the more visually appealing Twitter clients for the PC, based on the Adobe AIR platform. Organizes your windows into three panels; tweets, replies/DM’s, and Twitter profile.

tweetdeck2

TweetLater
Schedule your tweets with this service. It also allows you to send those automatic welcome messages that you’ve probably seen after following a couple of people. The makers of TweetLater have deliberately turned off the ability to schedule @replies and direct messages to discourage spammers.

Twellow
Directory for Twitter.

Tweetmeme
Tweetmeme tracks the most popular links on twitter every 5 minutes.

TweetStats
A must-have for statistics junkies. Graph your tweet density, how many replies you have sent to certain users, time of day that you are tweeting, etc. Amusing status messages.

Tweetvolume
A basic keyword research tool for Twitter – graph keywords that people are using.

tweetvolume1

Tweet What You Spend
Cash tracking from Twitter.

Tweetizen

Sort tweets by groups based on your interests.

Twitdom
The Twitter application database.

Twitter Job Search
The Twitter job search engine.

Twitscoop
This service allows you to track topics and conversations.

twittscoop

Twitseeker
An alternate search engine for Twitter that returns results based on your queries and then allows you to add people talking about your interests from one interface. Highly recommended as an alternative to Twitter Search.

Twhirl
Twitter client that performs the same functions as Tweetdeck in a smaller window.

twhirl1

Twibs
Business directory for businesses on Twitter. It is free to add your listing.

Twiddict

This service allows you to post to Twitter when it is down or when you can’t reach it over a firewalled network.

twdict

Twitblocker
Temporarily block a user who is annoying you without unfollowing them.

Twitfave
Website that allows you to track who has favourited your Tweets and favourite Tweets from other users.

Twitpay
A site that lets you send payments via Twitter.

twitpay1Twitpic
The most popular photo-sharing app on Twitter.

Twittearth
A mapped out version of the public Twitter timeline. Very cool and addictive to watch. Screenshot below.
twittearth

Twitterbuzz
This shows you the most popular items being linked to on Twitter in real time.

Twittercal
Tweet your Google Calendar and add events to your Calendar from Twitter

Twitterfone
Send messages to Twitter using voice.

twitterfone1

Twittergadget
This gadget for iGoogle and Gmail fully integrates Twitter with your Gmail and iGoogle pages.

Twitterless
Get stats on who is unfollowing you and when they are doing it.

twitterless1

Twitterfall
This site gives you a quick way to find current tweets that match your interests.

Twitterfeed
This service gets your blog postings automatically sent to a number of microblogging platforms, including Twitter.

Twitterfox
This extension for Firefox integrates your Twitter feed into your browser.

Twitterholic
Service that tracks the popularity of Twitter accounts, listing the top 100.

Twitturly
A service that tracks the popularity of URL’s on Twitter.

twitturly

Twitwall
This service is like a Facebook wall for Twitter. If it is too long to post, post it here and send a link to the post on Twitwall.

Twollo

Twollo is a service that finds new Twitter friends for you automatically based on your interests.

 

Twitter for the iPhone

Tweetie – $2.99
The paid application with the most props. Allows you to use Twitter exactly as you would use it from your computer. Automatic link shrinking and automatic posting of pictures to Twitpic.

Twitterific – Free with Ads
Twitterific is one of the more widely used free iPhone apps. It may not have the more advanced features of some other apps, but it keeps users from switching with its fast and seamless interface.
twitterific

Twinkle – Free
Twinkle keeps the easy-to-use streamlining intact with a few extra features, including Geolocation so that you can talk to other Twitter users around you.

Twittelator Pro – $4.99
A full service application for Twitter for the iPhone. Voted #7 of all social media networking applications for 2008 in the AppStore.

Twitterfon – Free
Simple application for iPhone and iPod Touch. Not many advanced features but very easy to use.

UnTweeps
Unfollow people who haven’t posted recently.

 

Twitter for Blackberry

BlackBird – Free
This app has been working with Twitter for some time. The screenshots featured on its website are a bit old-school. Blackbird now apparently shows the user’s avatar, updating the look of the app a bit.

Twitterberry – Free
This app works over the data network so you don’t need to use SMS and be charged for texting. Data pack charges will probably still apply, though.
twitterberrry

 

All Mobile Phones

Tiny Twitter
Tiny Twitter will work for any older smartphone as well as the BlackBerry. The homepage features a 140px column in an homage to the Twitter message character length.
tinytwitter


Twitxr

Share pictures and text from Twixtr from any mobile device.

GPS Twit
This geolocation app lets your friends find you using Twitter.

 

Twitter Graphics

Divageek Designs
Massive collection of Twitter buttons and badges.

icons1

Dr. Web’s
Collection of 30 Twitter icons for use on websites.

Hongkiat’s roundup of icons
Over 100 icons and buttons

Create a Free Twitter Background
Twitbacks.com allows you to create a custom background for your profile page based on your branding.

Create a Free Twitter Background, Part 2
Twitterbacks is the same kind of service as the above.

Free and Custom Twitter Backgrounds
Twitterimage.com offers up both designed and free images for your Twitter profile background.

twittbackgeekmommy
twittbackstream

twitterimage

FreeTweets
A collection of free background designs for your Twitter profile page.

 

How to Add Twitter to Everything

Adding Twitter to Your Website

Option 1 – The Official Way:
Follow Twitter’s instructions to create a “widget” that you can place on your pages.

Option 2 – The Unofficial Way:
1. Download twitter.js from Google
2. To install the code so that it doesn’t “hang”, follow Remy Sharp’s excellent step by step guide

Adding Twitter to Your Blog

WordPress

  • Download the Twitter plugin
  • Install it in your plugin directory
  • Enter your Twitter user name
  • All of your updates will now automatically post to your blog.

Joomla

Any Blog

Follow Twitter’s step-by-step instructions to add a “Twitter Badge” to Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, or TypePad.

 

WordPress Plugins

Tweetbacks for WordPress
This plugin imports Tweets about your post to your blog as comments.

Tweet This
This plugin allows you to add a “Retweet This” button at the end of your blog posts. Run, don’t walk, to install this now. This is so much more effective than an “e-mail this” button according to everyone who has installed it.

Twitter Counter
This counter allows you to show the number of Twitter followers that your blog has. See the upper right hand corner of the screen on this blog for an example.

Twitter Tools
This plugin allows you to post tweets from your blog and the wp-admin panel. You can also archive your tweets and create blog posts from each of them. You can even create a weekly or monthly digests of all your tweets.

Twitter Widget
Those who prefer the classic official “Twitter Widget” can use this plugin to sleeve the widget into their WordPress installation. Based on the Javascript from Twitter.

Twitter Blaster
This plugin lets your visitors update your Twitter stream.

Twitter Feed
Like TwitterTools, a fuller service plugin for all things Twitter. Allows prioritization, ordering and filtering of tweets.

Top Twitter Links by TwittURLs
Displays the current top posted twitter links.

Create Your Own WordPress Twitter Widget

Step by step tutorial

 

Website Tools & Tutorials

Blogo for Mac
This tool is a blog editor for Macs that integrates Twitter along with other microblogging platforms.

Twitter API Wiki
More for app designers, but some useful stuff here for web programmers as well.

Tutorial for Designing a Unique Website for Twitter Updates

Adding More than One Twitter Feed to the Same Page
Install more than one feed in one place.

Twitter Followers Counter Tutorial
Build your own funky counter.

 

Resources

Ever wonder where the meat is when it comes to Twitter on the web? These are the sites that we used to put together this article.

Help.Twitter.Com
The service has an extensive help section, with links off of it to its blog and developer resources.

50 Twitter Tools and Tutorials for Designers
From Smashing Magazine. Highly recommended if you want to get into the more technical aspects of Twitter app building and script libraries.

99 Essential Twitter Tools and Applications
Smashing Magazine’s updated list.

Twitter Fan Wiki
Extensive Wiki on Twitter.

Twitterati

This site gives up-to-the-minute news on all things Twitter.

Twitip
Like Twitterati, loaded with tips and tricks for using Twitter.

My Twittionary
Extensive List with a number of terms, actions and tools.


Compiled exclusively for WDD by Angela West

Disclaimer: Twitter is growing at a tremendous pace. We have tried to be as thorough as possible with this article however, there will always be new developments, services and more applications. Feel free to add them in the comments section.

Do you know of any other excellent resources for Twitter? Please share with us.

Aa