Thursday, February 2, 2012

Twitter Abbreviations You Should Know

As you use Twitter more and more to promote your business, you will quickly realize the limitations of 140 characters.

Here's a short list of Twitter abbreviations and acronyms, inspired by a list from our friends at BitRebels, with a few I added.
<3 = This is the text version of a heart
AFK = Away from keyboard
b/c = Because
BBL = Be back later or BRB = be right back
BG = Background (when someone refers to their Twitter background page)
DM = Direct message
EM = Email
FB or #FB = Facebook
FTF = Face to face
FWIW = For what it’s worth
#FF = Follow Friday (on Fridays people recommend others they like to follow)
FML = F--- my life
Gr8 = Great
ILY or 143 = I love you
IMO = In my opinion or IMHO = In my honest opinion or, in my humble opinion
IRL = In real life
J/K = Just kidding
L8r = See you later, talk to you later
LI = LinkedIn
LMK = Let me know
LMAO = Laughing my ass off or LMBO = ...butt off
LOL = Laughing out loud or ROFL = Rolling on the floor laughing
NP = No problem
OMG = Oh my God or OMFG = Oh my f—- God
PLZ = Please
RT = Retweet or RTHX = Thanks for the retweet
SRLY = Seriously?!
TMB = Tweet me back
TMI = Too much information
TTYS = Talk to you soon or TTYL = Talk to you later
TY = Thank you
WTH = What the heck or WTF = What the f—
YW = You’re welcome
Three have official functionality within Twitter.

  • DM -- Starting a tweet with DM followed immediately by the person's @twitter ID sends a direct message to that individual privately. It won't show up on your feed or theirs, just send their messages tab.
  • RT -- Twitter now has a button for retreats, however the old-fashioned way was to put RT followed by @twitter ID. It's considered extremely poor etiquette to steal someone's tweet without giving them credit. Some people prefer this old method because it allows you to make edits or add a comment.
  • #FB -- Some Twitter third-party applications use this to automatically post your Tweet to Facebook.

Why does Twitter only allow 140 characters?

Originally Twitter was envisioned as an online tool equivalent to texting. The original cell phone texting sequence was limited to 160 characters. Twitter shortened to this to allow 20 characters for your twitter ID. Twitter ID's are the @ followed by up to 18 alphanumeric characters followed by a space.

Since then mobile phones have improved, allowing long texts. Mobile phones can read and send entire e-mails. However, Twitter has never budged, and probably never will.

It's a challenge being extremely concise sometimes, but that's part of the beauty of  Twitter.
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