What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking website that you can sign up for, and send out regular updates on what you are doing. The catch is, it needs to be said in a very limited number of characters. Twitter limits users to 140 characters and updates are called 'tweets'.
How does Twitter work?
Firstly, you sign up to get a free account. Then you can search for people to follow - that can be anyone from friends of yours to celebrities or politicians that you are interested in, or people from your area. People may ask to follow you too, and you can accept them so they can see your regular updates. On your homepage, Twitter asks, "What are you doing?" and you start your tweets by answering that question.
Why is Twitter useful?
People use Twitter to share information and discuss subjects of interest. It is free to use and really easy to update quickly.
What do you need to keep in mind if your children are using Twitter?
Your child needs to be conscious of their choice of screen name - nothing that might provoke the wrong type of person following or interacting with them. Anything your child says on Twitter can be seen by anyone else looking at Twitter unless your child has privacy settings protecting their account. Remind your child:
- Not to say anything they wouldn't want the public to know - this includes any personal information about their school name, address, sports teams, etc.
- To use the settings section to protect their updates from being viewed by anyone whom they haven't approved as a follower. This will also keep your child's updates from appearing on the public timeline. Never to arrange to meet up with anyone they meet through these sites unless they speak to you first.
- To choose a username (online computer nickname) that doesn't give away their real name or age.
- If someone says or does something that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should tell you.
Want to know more?Sign up to Twitter. If you want to include a URL in your updates, you may need help making it fit into the character limitations. Try these URL shortening services: