What Is X (Formerly Twitter)? (2024)

X (formerly Twitter) is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages. The hope is that your words are useful and interesting to someone in your audience. X is one example of a microblogging platform.

Some people use X to discover interesting people and companies online, opting to follow their tweets.

What Is X (Formerly Twitter)? (1)

Why X Is So Popular

X's big appeal is how scan-friendly it is. You can track hundreds of engaging users and read their content with a glance, which is ideal for people who need a lot of information quickly, especially if they only have a few minutes to check the feed.

The platform employs a purposeful message size restriction to keep things scan-friendly: By default, every post is limited to 280 characters or less. This size cap promotes the focused and clever use of language, which makes tweets easy to scan, and challenging to write. The restriction, which started at 140 characters, made Twitter (as it was originally called) a popular social tool.

Paid subscribers can write posts of up to 25,000 characters, but the feed still shows a truncated version.

How X Works

X is easy to use as either a poster or a reader. You join with a free account and username. Then, you can post as frequently as you like. Select the What's Happening box next to your profile image, type your message, and click Tweet. People who follow you, and potentially others who don't, will see your post.

Why People Post on X

People post for all sorts of reasons besides sharing their thoughts: vanity, attention, shameless self-promotion of their web pages, or pure boredom. The vast majority of microbloggers do so recreationally. It's a chance to shout out to the world and see how many people read their tweets.

However, some users send out useful content, and that's the real value of X as a platform. It provides a stream of quick updates from friends, family, scholars, news journalists, and experts. It empowers people to become amateur journalists, describing and sharing something that they found interesting about their day.

X has a lot of fat, but at the same time, there is a base of useful news and knowledgeable content. You'll need to decide for yourself which content is worth following there.

X as a Form of Amateur News Reporting

Among other things, X is a way to learn about the world through another person's eyes.

Posts may come from people in Thailand as their cities become flooded. Your soldier cousin in Afghanistan might describe their war experiences; your traveling sister in Europe shares her daily discoveries, or a rugby friend could tweet from the Rugby World Cup.These microbloggers are all mini-journalists in their own way, and X gives them a platform to send a constant stream of updates right from their laptops and smartphones.

X as a Marketing Tool

Thousands of people advertise their recruiting services, consulting businesses, and retail stores by using social media, and it works.

The modern internet-savvy user has grown tired of television advertisem*nts. People prefer advertising that is fast, less intrusive, and can be turned on or off at will. X is precisely that; when you learn how the nuances of tweeting work, you can get good advertising results on platforms like this one.

X as a Social Messaging Tool

Yes, X is social media, but it's more than instant messaging. The platform is about discovering interesting people around the world. It can also be about building a following of people who are interested in you and your work or hobbies and then providing those followers with some knowledge value every day.

It also works well with other social tools, including Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger. For example, if you like a post and want to share it on your Instagram Story, expand it, and then tap the Share icon and choose Instagram Stories. The item will appear as part of your Instagram Story.

Why Celebrities Like X

X has become one of the most used social media platforms because it is both personal and rapid. Celebrities use X to build a personal connection with their fans.

Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Dionne Warwick are some of the most famous users. Their daily updates foster a sense of connectedness with their followers, which is powerful for advertising purposes and also compelling and motivating for the people who follow the celebs.

Threads vs. X (Formerly Twitter): What's the Difference?

X Is Many Different Things

X is a blend of instant messaging, blogging, and texting, but with concise content and a broad audience. If you fancy yourself a bit of a writer with something to say, then X is a platform worth exploring. If you don't like to write but are curious about a celebrity, a particular hobby topic, or even a long-lost cousin, then X is one way to connect with that person or subject.

The 9 Best X (Formerly Twitter) Alternatives in 2024


  • How do I set up a Twtter/X account?

    To create an account, go to the website or download the app, then select Sign up or Create account. Enter the requested information, and then verify your account via text or email. Twitter will walk you through setting up your profile.

  • How do I delete my X account?

    To deactivate a profile, go to More > Settings and Privacy > Your Account > Deactivate your account. You can reactivate within 30 days. After 30 days, your account is deleted.

  • How do I make my account private?

    To hide your posts from the general public, go to More > Settings and Privacy > Your Account > Account Information > Protected Tweets > Protect My Tweets. To prevent a specific person from viewing your tweets, you can block users.

  • Can I change my X handle?

    Yes. To change your user name in a browser, select More > Settings and Privacy > Your Account > Account Information. Enter your password, then select Username > Change Username.

  • How do I download videos from my X feed?

    In a web browser, copy the video's URL and go to DownloadTwitterVideo.com. To download videos on iOS or Android, use a third-party app like MyMedia (iOS) or +Download (Android).

  • Who owns X?

    Twitter was a privately held company until it went public in 2013. In 2022 Elon Musk purchased the company and, once again, it became a privately held company. In July 2023, he changed the name and branding to X.

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