The whole idea behind Twitter is to be open and efficient. As an microblogging site, it isn’t like many other social networking sites that are for deeper interaction. This is a place for the bare minimum, making quickfire comments through the day to keep people up to date on your life and thoughts.Along with this unique format comes a bit of confusion for the average user. How exactly does it work, and who sees what?
Here is a quick explanation.
What Am I Seeing?
First, you have the stream. This is on your homepage, which is not to be confused with your profile. Basically, the homepage is the area you go to when you first sign into your account. But the profile is the page people see when they click on your name.
Your homepage holds your stream, a collection of live update from anyone you have chosen to follow. If you choose, you can organize this stream in lists, which you can customize and move people into. These may be things like Friends, Family, Coworkers, or whatever else you decide. When you click on a list, only updates from those people will be in it.
When someone mentions you, you will see it in your steam as long as you are following them. If you are not following them, that mention will show up in the Connect area of your homepage, instead.
What Do Other People See?
Anyone who goes to your profile will see your updates, as long as you haven’t made it private. But people who follow you will get live updates in their stream, just like you get from them. If someone is following both you and the person who mentioned you, they will see that mention in their stream.
None of this should be confused with direct messages. These are private and only show up in your inbox, which you can get to by clicking on the little envelope icon. You can send someone a direct message through their profile, and you should always double check whether you are saying something publicly or privately before you send.
In the end, the Twitter stream is pretty straight forward and all comes down to who you are following, and who is following you. Have any questions or comments? Why not leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.
You can download your copy here: Twitter cheatsheet here
Ann Smarty is a search blogger and social media enthusiast. If you are serious about guest blogging, join the forum started by Ann – My Blog Guest. My Blog Guest is a good place for those who plan to accept guest contributions on a regular basis or look for guest posting opportunities on popular blogs in various niches. Follow Ann Smarty on Twitter: @seosmarty.