Who to Follow

Who to Follow

Who to follow

Launch "Following People on Twitter" video!Watch the video (3:52).

Now that you've created an account, it's time to start finding other Twitter users to follow! What are your interests? Do you plan to follow only people you know or a little bit of everything, from celebrities to news to some of your favorite companies?

When you follow people on Twitter, their updates appear in real time on your Twitter timeline (also known as your stream). As you begin to follow more and more people, you might benefit from strategies and apps that can help you manage this flow of information.

Watch this video to learn more about finding and following people on Twitter, as well as ways to manage your timeline.

Finding people to follow

Because it's such a big part of the Twitter experience, figuring out who to follow—and how to find them—can be overwhelming at first. Luckily, Twitter gives you several ways to connect to the people you know, the information you want to know, and more. It's all about following and receiving updates from the accounts that interest you; therefore, everyone's Twitter stream will be different.

The #Discover tab in the top navigation bar is the best place to find new people to follow, regardless of your interests. Select the #Discover tab. Several options will appear in the left navigation pane, which you can use to find people to follow.

A screenshot of TwitterThe #Discover tab

Similar to the above, you can use the Search bar at the top of the page. Just select the People button in the left navigation pane when the list of search results appears.

Following and unfollowing

To follow or unfollow someone, just click the Follow or Following button that appears next to the person's name or on their profile page. Easy to use and practically everywhere you look, this toggle button lets you decide who appears in your Twitter stream and—if you change your mind—who doesn't.

A screenshot of TwitterThe Follow and Unfollow buttons

Notice the verified badge icon next to Oprah's name? This icon, called the Verified Badge, is used to identify accounts that legitimately belong to celebrities and other well-known Twitter users.

About your Twitter timeline

Stream. Feed. Timeline. It goes by many names. It's the place where you receive updates—in the form of tweets—from the people, companies, and organizations you follow. The more people you follow, the more tweets you see in your timeline. The most recent tweets appear at the top.

A screenshot of TwitterThe Twitter timeline

This is where the Twitter experience really begins. Your timeline is constantly updating (maybe even right now!) to reflect what's going on in your world. If your life revolves around news and politics, you'll be able to follow updates from trusted sources—even grassroots, eyewitness accounts—as the news takes place. If you love technology, there's no shortage of developments to be shared and talked about with your peers.

Depending on your point of view, this either sounds exhilarating or intimidating. It can be difficult to keep up, but you should never feel pressured. Just enjoy Twitter when you can, whether you have the time to check it every day or only once a week. For those of you who'd like to take it a step further, there are several tools and features (provided by Twitter and even other sites) that are designed to help you manage your account and stay informed.

Have you noticed the Promoted Tweet Icon icon below some tweets? That's the promoted tweet badge, which indicates that a company has paid for a tweet to appear in your timeline. Twitter will try to show only promoted tweets that appeal to you, but sometimes you may prefer to ignore them altogether.

A screenshot of TwitterA promoted tweet

Ways to manage your timeline

These tools are optional, but they have the potential to improve your Twitter experience regardless of how many people you follow. Experiment to see which ones you like.

Discover what's happening

Launch "Exploring on Twitter" video!Watch the video (3:19).

The #Discover tab allows you to explore popular news stories and trending topics. Twitter is such a powerful tool for discovering news because the information on Twitter is constantly updating in real time. You can read what people are saying about a topic as it develops, long before the story might find its way to a news website or TV report.

Watch this video to find out how to explore more content on Twitter.

Tailored tweets

Click Tweets in the left navigation pane to view stories that appear based on your interests and location.

A screenshot of TwitterViewing stories on Twitter

Trending topics

In addition to the Stories page, you can explore popular trends. Look for Worldwide Trends in the left navigation pane. Here, you can find out what's trending worldwide or change it to see results in or near your hometown. Not sure what something is or why it might be trending? Click the topic to see other tweets related to that topic.

A screenshot of TwitterExploring trends

See the # symbol before some of the topics? This is known as a hashtag, which is sometimes used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet, like #olympics, #london2012, #gousa, or #michaelphelps. If you see a hashtag in your timeline or trends you're interested in, click it to search for other tweets that contain the same term.

A screenshot of TwitterA hashtag

Activity

Click the Activity button in the left navigation pane to create a custom timeline that shows what people you follow have been doing on Twitter, including the people they have started following recently. Because you probably share some common interests with the people you follow, this could be a great way to discover new users to follow on Twitter.

A screenshot of TwitterViewing the activity of the people you follow

Searching on Twitter

Want to find out what people are saying about your business? This Friday's big movie release? The availability of the latest gadget at your local big-box store?

Now that you're feeling a little more comfortable with Twitter, you can start taking advantage of its powerful search capabilities. With unique features like hashtags and an interactive results page, searching on Twitter is a great way to find and follow even more content related to what interests you.

The search bar and results page

You can find anything on Twitter just by conducting a search. A search for the word basketball, for example, can take you to tweets about tonight's game, as well as people on Twitter who are involved in sports. All of this is possible because Twitter's powerful search tool queries the contents of every tweet and every account, then streams the results for you in real time.

By using strategies that are unique to Twitter, you can even make it part of your daily routine to search for the latest news near you, or to seek out the day's trends. Your search results will appear on the timeline. You can narrow your search results by selecting the different options in the left navigation pane: Tweets, People, Top images, and Top Videos.

A screenshot of TwitterViewing search results

If you're not getting the results you want, you can narrow your search using operators (such as quotes around the exact phrase you want to find). If you're unfamiliar with operators, Twitter's easy-to-use advanced search page can give you the same search options. Click the gear icon The advanced search options button below the search, then select Advanced search from the drop-down menu.

A screenshot of TwitterUsing the advanced search

More search strategies