Frequently used Twitter DMs

Twitter FAQ - A quick guide for those new to Twitter

What is Twitter, please?

Twitter is a short message service - not to be confused with a news agency, by the way. While at a news agency, in the best case scenario, only journalists write, on Twitter anyone can run. You have to be a bit short, however, because every message that you distribute there can be a maximum of 140 characters long.

And do people use that?

Yes, quite a lot.


Really. The experts argue about the number of users, but there are a few million worldwide. Among them are a lot of celebrities such as the singer Katy Perry, the comedian Dieter Nuhr or the US President Barack Obama. There are also a lot of newspapers on Twitter, for example we, the colleagues from the Neue Presse or the other colleagues from the Lübecker Nachrichten, to name just a few.

And is that exciting?

It all depends on who you are following. Follow, that's what it's called when you want to read the short messages (i.e. the tweets) from certain people on Twitter. Then you follow them and in future their short messages will be displayed. Anyone who only follows boring snores and annoying steamy talkers will not have much fun on Twitter - unless they are into boring snores and annoying steamy talkers, of all things. But with a little trial and error, you can quickly find out who is worth following and who only produces hot air.

Okay, how can I follow someone?

In principle, you can just read all tweets on Twitter without being logged in there. To do this, simply go to the corresponding Twitter page of the user you want to follow (for example to follow the HAZ). The whole thing is easier if you have your own user account on Twitter. Then you can subscribe to the contributions of the users that interest you free of charge. You simply search for the relevant user and then click on “Follow” on their page - the user's contributions appear on your own overview page, on which all the latest tweets are displayed.

But be careful: In principle, anyone can log on to Twitter and claim that they are, for example, the Emperor of China or Mary Poppins. Twitter itself does not check whether the information is correct. For example, two ZDF fans tweeted for months as ZDFonline - and everyone thought it was an official ZDF channel. In the meantime he actually is, because the ZDF has hired both of them, but especially with celebrities there are always so-called "fakes", ie fake user accounts, behind which are not the celebrities but some jokers. Like, for example, this Twitter account, which supposedly belongs to Guido Westerwelle. Before you take a celebrity on Twitter at face value, you should google whether the internet community has in the meantime exposed the alleged celebrity as a fraud.

So do I always have to go to Twitter in my browser if I want to read something there?

No. There are tons of programs, both large and small, that you can use to use Twitter. One of the most widespread is “Tweetdeck”, which you can use not only on your home computer, but also on the go on your iPhone, iPad or an Android mobile phone.

Do I have to tweet myself too?

No, you don't have to write something yourself. But it's fun. You can also get to know a few people online. Well, as far as you can get to know people on the net.

But I don't want everyone to be able to read my posts!

No problem. Simply register on, then click on "Profile", then on "Edit profile" and tick the box in front of "Protect my tweets". Then only the users who follow you can read your own posts - and you decide who is allowed to follow you.

There should still be DM on Twitter - do I still have to pay with marks?There is a double no to that. For one thing, Twitter is free to use. And on the other hand, there are DMs on Twitter, but the abbreviation does not stand for Deutsche Mark, but for direct messages. You can send it to other users if you have something personal to say - or just something that not everyone else should read. A DM is only sent to the recipient and is not visible to all followers.
Why do we often see weird links on Twitter?

This is due to the limitation of the contributions to 140 characters. Normal links often devour so many characters that you can hardly write anything about them. For this reason, so-called link shorteners are often used on Twitter, such as or If you click on such a link, you first end up on the page of the link shortener, which then turns the short link into a long link and redirects you to where you actually wanted to go.

And why are so many people playing with the # key on Twitter? I found that pointless on the phone!

The # sign is used to add tags to Twitter. If the tweet is about something in Hanover, for example, you can put #hannover as a catchphrase after it. If you then search for this keyword on Twitter, you will also find this post.

And what does "RT" mean?

RT stands for “retweet”, ie a re-tweet - this is how tweets are referred to that are forwarded. An example: Imagine Hannover 96 beat Bayern 10-0. Beautiful imagination. Now the HAZ tweeted: “Crazy! The 'Reds' knock Bayern away 10-0! # h96 “. You yourself are a 96 fan and want to let the others know that the “Reds” have just won. Either you just write it yourself or - and this has become a good style on Twitter - you name the source and just forward the tweet. It then appears as your tweet, preceded by "RT @HAZ". RT for Retweet and @HAZ shows that the original contribution came from HAZ.

Isn't that pretty complicated?

No, not really. It's just a matter of getting used to.