How to Use Twitter as a Social Network

01
of 06

Get Familiar With Twitter’s Updated Design

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter.com

Twitter has come a long way since the initial design it started with when it first launched. Since then, many of those features have changed and evolved. This guide will take you through the big changes and features you need to know about so you can use Twitter properly.

First, let's take a look at the most obvious design feature changes we notice right away.

Tables: You should notice that the Twitter profile is now divided into three different tables. The top table displays your profile picture and bio information, the sidebar table displays links and images, and the biggest table on the left displays tweets and expanded information.

Sidebar: The sidebar had always previously been located on the right hand side of the Twitter profile. Now, you can find it on the left.

Floating Tweet Box: The tweet box always used to be located at the top of homepage of your feed. When you click on the blue "tweet" icon, the tweet box appears as a separate text input area on top of the Twitter page.

Tweet to Users: Every profile now has a "Tweet to X" box on the top section of the sidebar. If you are browsing somebody's profile and want to send them a tweet, you can do it directly from their Twitter profile page.

02
of 06

Understand the Functions of the Menu Bar

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter.com

Twitter has simplified the top menu bar for those who just can't wrap their heads around exactly what symbols like "#" and "@" really mean. Here's what you need to know:

Home: This displays the Twitter feed of all the users you follow.

Connect: Twitter has assigned a name to the @replies you get on Twitter and it's now called "Connect." Click on this option to display all your mentions and relies from users who are interacting with you.

Discover: This brings a whole new meaning to Twitter hashtags. The "Discover" option not only lets you browse through trending topics, but now it also finds stories and keywords for you based on your connections, location and even your language.

Click on your name (found on the top left of the news feed or in the menu bar) to show your own personal profile. Compared to the old design, your Twitter profile is now bigger, more organized and shows more information than ever before.

03
of 06

Customize Your Settings

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter

Twitter Direct Messages are now hidden in a tab with all your settings and customizable options. Look for the icon near the top right hand corner of the menu bar. Once you click it, a dropdown menu will appear showing links to view your full profile, direct messages, lists, help, keyboard shortcuts, settings and a link for signing out of your account.

04
of 06

View All the Information Contained In One Tweet

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter.com

The previous interface showed a small arrow icon to the left of every single tweet, which displayed information like links, images, video, retweets and conversations in the right sidebar.

This has all completely changed. When you roll your mouse over a tweet, you’ll notice several options appear at the top of the tweet. One of those options is “Open.” Click this to expand the tweet and all the information related to it, including links, retweets and embedded media.

Basically, all expandable information opens directly in the stream now as opposed to the right sidebar in the previous design.

05
of 06

Be Aware of Brand Pages

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter.com

Now that both Facebook and Google+ have jumped on the wagon involving brand pages, Twitter is also getting in on the action. In time, you’ll start to see more and more company Twitter pages that look slightly different from a personal Twitter profile.

Brand pages on Twitter have the ability to customize their headers in order to make their logo and tagline stand out. Companies also have more control over the way tweets show up on their page with the option to promote certain tweets at the top of the brand page’s timeline. The purpose of this is to highlight the company’s best content.

If you are setting up a company or business profile on Twitter, you should consider choosing a brand page rather than a personal profile page.

06
of 06

Pay Attention to Your Name

Twitter
Screenshot of Twitter.com

With previous Twitter designs, it was always the “@username” that was emphasized rather than the user’s first and/or last name. Now, you’ll notice that your actual name is highlighted and bolded in more noticeable places on the social network, rather than your username.