Twitter was an early hit since its 2006 launch, quickly becoming the household name of a publicy-traded company (TWTR), used throughout the world to communicate, organize, and share online links, photos, and videos - mostly from mobile devices. While you can read anything on Twitter without an account, you need a profile to send tweets - you can setup a Twitter account for personal or professional reasons (and today, most companies now have their own Twitter feed!)
First, go to twitter.com/signup (link opens in a new window / tab), and you should see the sign-up form shown below (the partial sign-up form on the homepage shows a sign-in form at the top). Unlike Facebook, you use the same form to create a personal Twitter account, or one for your business:
Note: if you see a "You are already logged in. Log out and try again" error message at the top of the page, click on the gear icon (top right), choose "Sign out", and start over. That just meant that someone was already logged into Twitter in that particular web browser:
Enter your Full name. It appears first in search results, and under your avatar (profile picture) in your Twitter feed. This can be your first and last name, or your company's official business name:
Next, enter your email address. It will not be shown to the public, and will be used in two scenarios: you can use it instead of username when you login to Twitter, and it will be used to send account recovery instructions in case your forget your password. Twitter will also email you occasional notices:
Tip: if you get the "This email is already registered. Want to login or recover your password?" error message, you (presumably) already have a Twitter account. You now have two options:
• Click "login" to sign in to your existing Twitter account with that email address (you're done!)
• Click "recover your password" to have it sent to your email address, and then sign in.
Note: f Twitter says "Doesn't look like a valid email", make sure that you have typed your full email address (in the form "firstname.lastname@example.org"), and that there are no spaces.
Pick a password: ideally, it should be different from any other password you use online (especially from the one you use with the email address you just entered - a hacker who guesses your Twitter password should be unable to use it to access your other online accounts!) Twitter will help you along the way: "Password is too obvious", for example, means that you should mix uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make it harder to guess. The password-strength meter will say "Password is perfect" once you've come up with a secure combination of characters:
Now, type your desired username: it must be at most 15 characters long, and can only include letters, numbers, and underscores ("_"). You will get an "Invalid username! Alphanumerics only" error message if you include spaces, symbols or special characters and punctuation marks. Uppercase and lowercase doesn't matter here (Twitter usernames are "case-insensitive").
Side info: your username will appear in the URL (internet address) of your Twitter feed. In the case of One Page Tutorials, our handle is "
optuts" (see screenshot below). When you give it to others, you include the "@" symbol in front of it (which does not make it an email address either).
Twitter checks username availability as you type: once you get the "Username is available" confirmation, you can stop. Otherwise, you will see a "This username is already taken! message, along with alternative suggestions in green underlined text: click on one to make it your username.
Tip: while you can change your Twitter username at any time, it's better to pick a handle that you plan on keeping, since this is what people will remember. This is even more important for a Twitter account for business, where branding is crucial!
You are just about finished: if you are going to use Twitter on this computer, keep the "Keep me signed-in on this computer" checkbox checked - this spares you from having to manually sign in every time!
Tip: it says "on this computer", but it really means "in this web browser" - if you use multiple Twitter accounts from the same computer, just use different browsers, and let each one keep you logged in to another account. (Twitter uses "cookies" to remember you and automatically log you in.)
Optionally keep "Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits" checked to get customized content or people suggested to you based on your interests. (Twitter gets that information from your visits to websites that have integrated Twitter buttons, from the tweets you retweet, people you follow, etc.)
Once you've reviewed the Terms in the scroll box, click on "Create my account" to join Twitter! The next screens gives you a brief introduction to the service: Twitter "forces" you to follow tweeters it found relevant for you during the process, but you can always unfollow them later.
During one of those steps, Twitter will offer that you follow some of your friends, based on an optional address book import from one of the popular webmail providers (AOL, Hotmail / Outlook.com, Gmail, or Yahoo) - but at the bottom of the listing, you'll find a pretty well hidden "Skip" link: click on it to skip that step.
In this final page, you'll get to add your profile picture (avatar), and a short biography or slogan: click on the Upload image button to select a picture from your computer. The common formats of
PNG will all work, as long as the graphic is smaller in size than 700 kilobytes (0.7 megabytes). Then, type a short bio or slogan for your company (less than 160 characters), and click on the Done button at the top. (You can always update that bio or change profile picture later on.)
You are done! Before you can use all of Twitter's functionality, go check the email address you supplied for a validation link (to prove that the email address is valid, and that you own it). You'll get a "Your email address (...) has been confirmed" confirmation message: start tweeting away!
Once signed into your account, click on the gear button (top right) and select "Settings". On the next page, click on "Password" on the left. To prevent others from changing your password, Twitter requires that you first enter your current password. Do so, and then enter the new password twice: Once done, click "Save changes". Remember to update your credentials in web browsers and mobile apps that may have it stored ("remembered", for convenience).
The username (profile or screen name) you picked when you first signed up with Twitter can be changed. Once you are logged into your account, click on the gear icon (top right corner) and choose "Settings". On the next screen, type over the value currently inside the "username" text field: Then, scroll all the way to the bottom and click Save. From this point on, make sure that you use your new "@handle" in website buttons, email signatures, etc. It's often what people use to find you on Twitter!
To change Twitter profile picture, click on the gear button in the top right corner and choose "Settings": then, select the "Profile" section on the left. Click on the Change photo dropdown: to delete your picture, pick "Remove": this will set your avatar to an egg shape over a random background color. To change picture, choose "Upload photo" and pick another one from your computer:
Tip: on Windows, you can paste the URL of an image you found online inside the "File Name" field of the file picker and hit Enter! (Just make sure that you have the right to use that graphic :)