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A quick guide to using Twitter as UK users pass the 10m mark

Britain now has more than 10 million active users of Twitter according to new figures from the social network’s @TwitterUK feed.

The number represents those who log in at least once every 30 days and includes everyone from general personal tweeters to brands, companies and organisations.

Yesterday’s announcement shows the phenomenal growth of the micro-blogging system in Britain, which features messages and updates of no longer than 140 characters.

It has now become a favourite of celebrities from footballers to pop stars as well as UK politicians keen to spread their message to a wider – and often younger – audience.

UK is Fourth Most Popular Tweeting Country

According to a report in The Guardian, it now puts Britons as the fourth largest users of Twitter behind America, Brazil and Japan.

The figures also showed that 80% of British Tweeters use the social network from their mobile phones, far higher than the worldwide average.

Twitter also announced yesterday an innovative new way to keep in touch with what’s happening across its massively-popular platform.

Users can now receive a weekly email to their inboxes featuring a summary of the best Tweets and stories from those they are connected to and follow on their feed.

Turn On or Turn Off the Weekly Update

The email can be found and selected – or turned off if not required as it seems to be an opt-out rather than opt-in message – under Notifications within Settings. You’ll then find a checkbox to tick or un-tick under the Updates heading at the bottom of the page.

The email is similar to the Discover tab, which recently launched on Twitter, to show the most popular and trending topics across the world.

The weekly message will allow those receiving it to tweet directly from the email and see related messages from their followers.

There will also be an update showing Tweets that have been popular with other users, even if you don’t follow them – giving the chance to discover new users who might be interesting. It will also feature the best retweets and favourites tweets.

How To Sign Up to Twitter

If you have not yet dipped your toe into trying Twitter, then it’s simple to do. Just go to and sign up. You’ll need to choose a username that will identify you on the network and also be sure to create a secure password using letters – both upper and lower case – along with a number or two.

The site will then guide you through posting your first tweet and following those people you may be interested in. Start slowly by choosing a few people and then build up as you become more confident.

Messages from all those you follow will show on your timeline so the more you choose, the more messages there will be and at first you may struggle to keep up with it all.

Twitter on your Mobile

If you use a smartphone or tablet computer there are many different applications available to use Twitter on the move. The official Twitter app is free and certainly one of the best so it’s a great starting point if you’ve only just joined.

There’s no rule on what you can and can’t tweet – as long as it’s not illegal or offensive. Many people tweet what they are thinking, or send comments to celebs and personalities they like. Others post links to articles they’ve read on the internet or to website pages they find interesting.

As you begin to find your feet you will soon get the hang of it and start to grow your network. Use the search function to find friends, family and work mates who may be on the site already or Twitter can also check via their email addresses from your address book.

Two more things to know are Retweets and Direct Messages. The first is when someone reposts a Tweet they have read so it can be seen by all the people who follow them. It is signalled by the letters RT at the start of the message.

The second is a private message between users and is commonly known as a DM. You can only Direct Message those who are following you already to prevent overuse or misuse by spammers.

Stay Secure on Twitter

Finally, as with any social network, watch out for spammers and cybercriminals posting rogue links that could give them access to your Twitter account or download viruses and spyware to your computer.

Despite a crackdown by Twitter, there are still many spam and rogue accounts, some people even pretend to be well-known celebrities or personalities. You can spot an authentic celeb as their real account will often – but not always – say it has been Verified.

So what are you waiting for. Sign up to Twitter now and get involved. You’ll be surprised by how easy – and mainly, how fun – it is. Once you start, it’ll be difficult to put it down and stop.

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