Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > The Web/Virtual Worlds/Social Networking

Setting Up Twitter

Learn to set up a Twitter account, complete an online profile, put some serious thought behind your avatar, and then start seeking out people online that you share common interest with.
This chapter is from the book

The appeal of Twitter, after you grasp the notion of what it is and what it can do, all boils down to ease. When it comes to a user-friendly interface, it rarely comes as easy as Twitter.

Our goals here are to set ourselves up with an account, and what I mean by “setting up an account” is more than just signing up. To attract followers and effectively begin building your network, we will be going deeper into establishing our presence in Twitter. We will complete our online profile, put some serious thought behind our avatar, and then start seeking out people online that we share common interest with. The first few steps are a breeze, but it is in the details where people tend to trip up. No need to worry about those details because when you get the lay of the land, the Twitterverse becomes an easy one to master.

So, fire up your browser of choice and let’s begin this adventure into self-expression with 140-characters or less.

Registering on Twitter

Welcome to the first step in building your network. As you see in Figure 2.1, the developers at Twitter want to help you through this process, too. Along with this book, you can watch online, through Twitter.com’s welcome page, a two-and-a-half-minute video from “Common Craft” that explains how Twitter works. If video isn’t your thing, you also have the What?, Why?, and How? buttons that take you to Twitter Support, offering everything you want or need to know to start.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1 Twitter greets users old and new with a simple, easy-to-follow user interface.

Whether it is with me or with the website, we’re all here to get you tweeting.

First, let’s register.

  1. Go to http://twitter.com on your Internet browser.
  2. Just underneath the boldface phrase “What are you doing?” is a button reading “Get Started—Join!” Single-click that button.
  3. In the field marked full name, type in your full name or your business’ name, or both.

    Honesty is the best policy when building your profile, so don’t be shy or elusive here. A real name or a company name here can better help you in establishing an identity on Twitter. Also, you can change this to fit your mood or intent at any time under Settings, which we discuss later in this chapter.

  4. Set up a User Name for yourself, no longer than 15 characters (Twitter’s built-in limit). This can be a nickname, clever moniker, or wordplay you create, or simply you or your organization’s name or acronym.

  5. Create your password.

    Along with letting you know if a full name is “too big” or a username is available, Twitter also tells you if a password is strong (meaning it will be difficult to crack) or weak (meaning “Yeah, I can hack that....”). Strong passwords usually have uppercase letters in the middle of them and a number instead of a letter in some instances. When you come up with a password, make it something easy to remember but not easy for others to figure out.

    Figure 2.2

    Figure 2.2 When creating your Twitter account, you start with the basics: who you are, where Twitter can contact you, and what your password will be.

  6. If you want to be notified of new followers and when people send you direct messages, check the box for email updates.
  7. In the final field, type the verification code provided by Twitter. If you cannot read the code, you can refresh the verification by single-clicking on the Get Two New Words option or hear an audio version of the verification code by single-clicking on the Listen to the Words link, both located to the right of the field.
  8. Single-click Create My Account to finish registration.
  9. Following the creation of your Twitter account, Twitter offers you the option to check for Twitter-registered friends on a variety of email services. If you choose any of these services, have your user details for your mail accounts ready to enter. You will be asked for them. If you do not want to check for friends, single-click on Skip This Step at the bottom of the interface.
  10. Twitter then selects at random a variety of Twitter users for you to start following. This can include celebrities, organizations, frequent Twitters, or Twitter accounts often referenced or retweeted by others. If you decide to follow any of these Twitter accounts, click on the check boxes located to the left of their accounts, and then single-click on Finish at the bottom of the interface. If you do not want to follow any of these randomly selected accounts, single-click on Skip This Step under the Finish button.

Congratulations! If you have a desktop similar to Figure 2.3, you are now registered with Twitter!

Figure 2.3

Figure 2.3 By default, Twitter accounts have a basic avatar in place along with a basic background, your username, and even quick tips on building your network.

Okay, okay...so it is a little lonely right now. If you skipped all the opportunities to add other Twitters, no one is following you. Your window is looking like an artist’s canvas fresh from the supply store and mounted on an easel. And what is with that avatar of the O’s and the underscore?! (Look closer...there is a face in there. Sort of.) This is merely the first step. Everyone starts here. If you are fortunate, a friend or a group of friends invited you to join Twitter. If you are particularly lucky, you might be friends or colleagues with a “power user” and can automatically tap into his or her network. If you start from scratch, you might be surprised at how many friends you can make in a matter of tweets. After all, you already have something in common: Twitter.

So, you are all set up and ready to build that network? Well, not quite. Although it is tempting (as many new Twitter users find) to start building up your network, connecting with others that share the same passions that you do, and embracing this hot new social networking initiative, let’s stop a moment and consider that. Social networking. It’s all about the first impression, and when making contacts and building a network—even the virtual ones—it is imperative to put your best foot forward.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020