Compared to other social media sites, Twitter is pretty light. No gaming apps, strict character limits, it seems almost impossible that there are aspects of it which might not be obvious. But it has its own rules. So, ready to find out how Twitter really works? You can’t unlearn what lays before you; it might keep you up at night and haunt your daydreams.
Right. Movin’ forward:
There is a 2,000 follower limit – kind of. That is, you can click away following people until you reach two thousand. Then you are subject to a ratio, which is tailored with an algorithm to each account. The short version, though, is people need to start following you first before you can follow back or follow others. While that might seem like a strange rule, it does help prevent follower churning, a method spammers would employ—if Twitter allowed it. The only thing that needs churned is butter.
There is a reduction in @ mention noise. When someone types a user name (prefaced with @), it shows up in the status stream and the target user sees the update under the @mentions tab. It’s a bit like “tagging” someone, so they know you are speaking to them instead of scrolling through all the updates to find it. However, to reduce the amount of clutter (noise), only mutual followers can see that status. For example, Person A, B and C are all following each other. If A sends a message to B, then C can see it. The same applies to all of them. However, let’s say person A sends a message to Person D, who neither B or C is following – then neither B or C will see it. Too bad that doesn’t work in real life settings.
There is a legit use for the bio. I know, Twitter ruined all the fun by limiting characters in your personal profile. Surely there’s more to you than 160 characters, but don’t despair. Fill out the bio anyway. And pick words that really describe you and what you Tweet about (which should be more or less the same thing). When someone performs a search on Twitter, your bio is scanned for keywords—helping potential followers to find you.
This one is unconfirmed, but seems logical—and prevalent—enough to necessitate mentioning: regularly using more than three #hashtags in a post might possibly put up a red flag that you are a spammer. I know it does for many users. I mean, how many people even really read an update full of hashtags? By all means, don’t stop using the nifty little #. But consider whether what you’re doing might make Twitter raise an eyebrow—and, perhaps just as importantly, if it makes your followers’ eyes glaze over.
See, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, you should feel armed with some back end knowledge of Twitter and hopefully use it to help reach your goals.
Want more information about Twitter limits and policies? Click here for official information.
Did you spend time crafting your Twitter profile bio, or just typed in what sounded good at the time? Are you considering revising it now?
This post originally appeared on Rainy of the Dark.