Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to share thoughts, links, pictures or videos. It is also a handy tool for keeping up-to-date with news events anywhere in the world as they are happening. Each post is known as a ‘tweet’, and must consist of fewer than 140 characters, including hyperlinks to any articles. images or video.

To add your details and be able to tweet, you must have a user account, which is free.

You’ll need:

  • a computer that’s connected to the internet
  • an email account.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a Twitter account

Step 1: Go to the Twitter website, where you will see a sign-up form on the homepage.

Step 2: Enter your full name, email address and a password. Click Sign up for Twitter.

Twitter homepage

Step 3: Twitter will automatically suggest a ‘username’ based on the name you entered on the first sign-up form. However, you can change this to a different name if you want to.

If Twitter is happy with the information you have entered, a green tick will appear alongside each field. If not, a red cross will appear and prompt you to change the information you have entered.

Joining Twitter

Step 4: Enter a password that shouldn’t be easy to guess – avoid birthdays and your children’s names. The strength of the password entered is graded by Twitter. Entering an easy password such as ‘password’ will trigger a prompt for you to enter something more secure.

Step 5: Enter your valid email address. This is how Twitter will contact you to alert you to new ‘followers’ or private direct messages. Your email address is not available for people to see on the site.

Step 6: When you’ve finished entering all the necessary information, click Create my account.

Step 7: Twitter will now take you through a short tutorial, which includes suggestions of who to follow based on your email contacts and other popular accounts.

Twitter tutorial

Step 8: You will receive an email from Twitter asking you to click a link to validate your account. It's important to do this as soon as possible, as you may not be able to use all the features until you are validated. 

Step 9: If you know of a Twitter user by name that you would like to follow – a person, company or other organisation, such as Digital Unite – enter that name into the search box and click Search. You’ll receive a list of possibilities, including people and tweets containing your search terns.

Search results on Twitter

To see only people and organisations - rather than content of all kinds - click People on the lefthand side. 

If you recognise the person or organisation you’re interested in, click Follow next to their search result.

Search results for people on Twitter

Step 8: You’ll now see your timeline – more commonly known as your ‘Twitter stream’. This shows tweets from the accounts you follow as they are posted.

Items listed under ‘Worldwide Trends’ show what’s currently popular on Twitter, not just who you are following. You can choose which region’s trends this area displays by clicking Change and picking the most relevant area to you.

Worldwide trends

To look at the details of a specific account that you’re following, click their name or the picture accompanying the name and their profile information will pop-up.

Stephen Fry's Twitter profile

Step 9: Any ‘mentions’ (people tagging your Twitter name in their tweets), new ‘followers’ (people subscribing to your tweets) or ‘retweets’ (another user sharing your tweet with their followers) will appear in Twitter’s ‘Notifications’ section.

Notifications section in Twitter account

Or you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and popular stories with Twitter’s ‘Discover’ section.

Discover tab on Twitter homepage

Step 10: You can edit your profile information, set a new image to appear as your avatar, or even change the background on your page at any time, by clicking on the cog icon in the right-hand corner of any page and selecting Edit profile.

Edit Twitter profile

Step 11: You should see a list of options on the lefthand side. Choose Profile to personalise your profile information.

Twitter settings

Personalising your profile will allow you to tell prospective ‘followers’ a little bit about yourself, including your ‘Location’ and a brief ‘Bio’, explaining who you are and/or what your interests are.

Editing profile on Twitter

Click Save changed when you have finished.

Done!

Top tip: If you would like to create your own images to use as a Twitter profile picture or to decorate your Twitter profile, try website www.canva.com for free, easy-to-use image creation.