Twitter for dummies: a guide to the social network that still confuses us

Twitter has launched a new ad campaign after discovering that many people still dont understand it. Thankfully, the Guardians guide explains it all

Twitter for dummies

Although Twitter for dummies has been part of the cultural and political discourse for years, a vast percentage of the population still doesnt understand it. To this blissfully ignorant percentage, tweets are simply the thing that journalists embed on to websites whenever they dont feel like coming up with their own ideas.

However, today Twitter for dummies unveiled a brand new advertising campaign aimed exclusively at those who dont know what Twitter is. Unfortunately, the commercials are so bland and empty that theyre almost certainly doomed to failure. Instead, newcomers are advised to reference a much better resource: this clear, accurate and comprehensive Twitter glossary.

Twitter (@twitter) July 25, 2016

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@Twitter for dummies

A publicly identifiable name that helps differentiate you from everyone else on Twitter. Choose carefully. My username is @StuHeritage, for example, but in my heart I always wish Id picked the more poetic @MonkeyFart69.

#Twitter for dummies

A hashtag is a clickable identifier that helps users find a public discussion about a subject. Want a Justin Bieber fan to read your tweet? End it with the hashtag #Bieber. Want to show that you either like or dislike Donald Trump? Use #Trump. Want everyone on Earth to hate you? #Blessed.


These are the short, 140-character messages with which you further your personal brand. Its important to give off a consistent tone in your tweets, otherwise people wont know if youre a whining hand-wringing liberal or a furious, impotent mens right activist. Those are the only two types of people on Twitter.


This is what Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall did to @StuHeritage in June 2016, even though Stuart did nothing wrong and just wants to be friends.

Stuart Heritage (@stuheritage) June 17, 2016

TIL Mick Hucknall blocked me on Twitter before I even knew he had a Twitter account

Direct messages

Direct messages (or DMs) are private messages that can only be seen by yourself and the recipient. They were invented purely for the transfer of uninvited penis pictures. Twitter for dummies


These are the people who follow you, because theyre just as invested in your personal brand as you are. As a rule, the higher your follower count, the better a person you are.


This is how you respond to tweets. If a famous person tweets something, reply with Ha ha. Then, when they dont respond within 30 seconds, you can write Ha ha again. Then when they dont respond to that, you can write Why no reply :(?. And then, when they dont respond to that, write DIE IN HELL, TALENTLESS HACK. Then complain about being blocked.


A heart-shaped icon that you only press when someone sends you a tweet and you dont like them enough to reply.


Click the bell icon and youll see a list of tweets that other users want you to read. If youre a man, you might find one or two messages from an old friend who wants to say hi. If youre a woman, youll have several hundred messages telling you that youre stupid and ugly. Twitter for dummies


This is what people claim happened to them whenever they accidentally tweet a picture of their penis in public instead of DMing it.


A parody account in no way affiliated with the actor Bill Murray. This is a terrible collection of weak observations and stolen homilies, designed to single out anyone who retweets them as someone who deserves to spend an eternity being punched in the nose in hell.

Bill Murray (@BillMurray) July 7, 2016

If we didn’t start wars, would we have wars?

Verified account

A blue tick that tells you the user is either an A-list celebrity, a respected authority on an important subject or a BuzzFeed employee.


The thing on Twitter that nobody in the entire history of Twitter has ever intentionally looked at or thought about.


A retweet is when you publish someone elses tweet on your own feed. It is the only way that @StuHeritage can ever feel a scrap of self-worth any more. Twitter for dummies


This is a list of the terms and hashtags most used on Twitter at any moment of time. Most useful in the punishing aftermath of an unthinkable terrorist attack, because it reminds you that, no matter how frightening the world gets, a huge percentage of people still just want to talk about Harry Styless hair.

Code of conduct

A thing that Twitter says it has, but probably doesnt.

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