At a glance: A glossary of Twitter terms

The Associated Press
At a glance: A glossary of Twitter terms

The Twitter bird logo is on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013. Twitter's initial public offering was priced at $26 a share, Wednesday evening, and is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

What's in a tweet? To start, 140 characters, including spaces. Then there are the acronyms, symbols and Twitter-specific lingo that could look like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Twitter Inc. started trading publicly Thursday, so you might be wondering what the service is about. Here's a glossary of some of the most common Twitter terms you might encounter, defined in 140 characters or less.

— Tweet: That 140-character message sent out on Twitter. Also, the sound a small bird makes.

— Follow: Find an account you like? Click "follow" to have their tweets show up in your feed.

— RT: Stands for retweet, or resubmitting someone else's tweet to your followers.

— HT: Hat Tip, means you are sharing a link or idea someone else shared first, so you're giving them credit. Not quite a retweet.

— DM: Direct Message, a private message sent to another user. You can send it only to people who follow you.

— @: Add before someone's name to reply to them publicly. It's only shown in the feeds of those who follow both of you.

— Egg: Unless you upload a profile photo, an egg will show up in its place. Often a sign of a spam account, or someone new to Twitter.

— #: Hashtags are a way to make posts searchable by topic. Just insert in front of a word, but these days #-less words are indexed, too.

— FF: Follow Friday, Twitter tradition where users recommend other accounts that people should follow. Happens on Friday.

— Trends: Popular topics people are talking about on Twitter at any given time, but not the most popular ever. Can change based on location.

— Promoted tweet, account or trend: Advertisements. Distinguished by an orange arrow and the word "Promoted" next to a tweet, trend or topic.