Twitter is one of the most successful microblogging platforms currently available on the web. In 140 characters, you can send out messages to Twitter’s over 310 million active users and beyond [N.B. Twitter increased this to 280 in 2017!]. As an open online space (as opposed to things like Facebook which require an account), people can talk and share about whatever they want.

While this sometimes can be people’s breakfasts or celebrity news (nothing wrong with that!), Twitter can be used for more substantial content such as political discussions, critiques of public figures and/or their actions, as well as sharing and collaborating on new research. Twitter can be whatever you want to be, whether it’s a resource that you keep an eye on and don’t interact with that much, or something that you use to communicate ideas and views to a wide range of audiences. Twitter is a very powerful tool and can be used to reach many people by inspiring and educating.

In this video, we will introduce Twitter and the basics of how the platform works.

Video transcript

We’ve also put together a quick step-by-step guide on setting up a new Twitter account.

You might have already been using Twitter for a while or you’re all set up with an account and want to use it as part of your work. Here’s a video all about using Twitter for research, communicating, collaborating and gathering new ideas.

Video transcript

We’ve also put together a handout with the main Twitter points that we’ve covered.

Thing 5 activities

Set up a Twitter account (if you haven’t already…or maybe start a new one)

Write your first tweet and include the 23 Research Things hashtag #23researchcam

Tweet a link to your blog

Follow interesting people and find other 23 Research Things participants

Maybe send some tweets about how you’re finding the programme, using the hashtag as part of your sentence

Write a blogpost about your thoughts on Twitter. Are they different to what you thought before you started working through Thing 5? Will you use Twitter? Can you see any research benefits of using Twitter with your work?

Thing 5 learning outcomes

You should be able to understand Twitter as an online platform

You should have had the opportunity to engage with and use Twitter

You should be able to identify uses for Twitter in your work and/or research

You should have reflected on Thing 5 through blogging

Image: Novartis AG