Learn How to Use Twitter in 15 Minutes or Less

Sign up, choose a username, set up your profile, and start tweeting

What to Know

  • Select Sign up, fill out the form, and pick prefs. Enter the code and create a password. Then, upload a profile pic and write a bio.
  • Change your username: Go to Home > More > Settings and privacy > Account information > Username.
  • Update your profile: Select Home > Profile > Edit Profile.

This article explains how to get up and running with Twitter in 15 minutes or less. You'll learn the basics of how to use Twitter by setting up your Twitter profile, sending your first tweet, and deciding how you want to use Twitter.

Fill Out the Sign Up Form on the Twitter Home Page

Here's how to create a new account on Twitter, add a profile picture, and write a bio that your followers will see:

  1. Go to Twitter, and select Sign up.

    The signup page for Twitter.com
  2. Twitter displays the initial sign-up form. Enter your name, your phone number or email for verification, and your date of birth. Select Next to continue.

    A Twitter user creates a new account
  3. Customize your experience by opting into tracking Twitter content across the web. Check or uncheck the box and select Next.

    A Twitter signup page where you can choose to track your Twitter content across the web
  4. The information that you entered displays. If everything looks correct, select Sign up.

    The Twitter account creation process
  5. Twitter sends a verification code to the phone number or email address you provided. Retrieve the code and enter it in the space provided. Select Next.

  6. Twitter prompts you to choose a password. Choose a strong password, and select Next.

  7. Select the profile picture icon, and choose a profile picture to upload. Choose a clear picture of yourself without other people as a profile picture.

    A Twitter user changes their profile pic
  8. You can edit the profile picture that you uploaded. After you align it the way you want, select Apply.

    A Twitter profile pic with the Apply button highlighted
  9. Your profile picture displays in a preview. If you like the way it looks, select Next.

    A Twitter profile pic with the Next button highlighted
  10. Enter a short bio, and then select Next.

    Twitter sign up enter bio
  11. Twitter asks if you want to import your contacts. That choice is entirely up to you. To skip it, select Not now.

    Twitter sign up import contacts
  12. Choose the interests that you want to see tweets about, or select Skip for now.

    Twitter sign up choose interests
  13. Twitter suggests people for you to follow. Select Follow by any you want to hear from.

    Twitter suggests followers to a new user
  14. When you're done, your home page appears with your feed displayed down the middle.

    Twitter home

Choose Your Twitter Username

You may have noticed that Twitter never asked you about your username. That's because it automatically creates one based on your name. You can see your Twitter username preceded by the @ symbol beneath your name next to your profile picture in the lower-left corner of the screen.

If you like what Twitter gave you by default, great! There's nothing you need to do. Otherwise, changing your username isn't hard.

  1. From your home screen, select More.

    The Twitter main page with the More button highlighted
  2. Choose Settings and privacy from the menu.

    The Twitter More menu options with Settings and Privacy highlighted
  3. Select Account information. Twitter asks you to confirm your password to process. Enter it and select Confirm.

    A Twitter account information page with the Username field highlighted
  4. Select your Username.

    A Twitter account information page with the Username field highlighted
  5. Enter your new username without the @. If it's available, the box around it stays blue. Select Save to make the change official.

    A Twitter user changes their username

Fill Out Your Profile

Your profile gives your followers a bit of information about yourself. Here's how to fill it out:

  1. Select Profile to the left of your feed on your home page.

    A Twitter home page with the Profile option highlighted
  2. On your profile page, select Edit Profile.

    A Twitter profile with the edit button highlighted
  3. A window appears that contains your profile info. You already added some of the info, so there's not much to do. In the future, you can update your profile info here.

    The Twitter Edit Profile screen
  4. Select the camera icon and choose a picture as your banner image. This picture goes across the top of your profile. Use a picture of something you tweet about or follow rather than a picture of yourself. For example, if you tweet about travel, choose a picture of a place you visited.

    Twitter recommends 1500 x 500 picture images for the banner.

  5. Fill in your Location. You can be as specific or vague as you like. You can even use a fictional place. No one's checking for accuracy.

  6. Add a Website, if you have one.

  7. Select Save.

Send Your First Tweet

After you finish your profile, send your first tweet. It's a little like a Facebook status update, except that the Twitter messages you send are public by default and must be short.

To send a tweet, type a message of 280 characters or less into the text box that asks, "What's Happening?" The character count drops as you type. If a minus sign appears, you've written too much. Trim a few words, and then when you're satisfied with your message, click the Tweet button.

Your tweet isn't sent to anyone yet because no one follows you or subscribed to receive your tweets. Still, your tweet is visible to anyone who stops by your Twitter page, either now or in the future.

Resist the urge (for now) to use strange Twitter language. You'll learn the lingo as you go. 

Decide How to Use Twitter, for Business or Personal Goals

After finishing this beginning Twitter tutorial, your next step is to decide who to follow and what kind of followers you hope to attract. Your experience of Twitter will vary depending on how you choose to use Twitter, including who you follow and what you tweet.

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