Twitter turns seven: Your guide to the social networking site

Rebecca Lewis
The profile page of Twitter

Social networking site Twitter turns seven years-old today. The site has grown from humble beginnings in 2006 to having 200million users around the world and producing 400million tweets a day.

For those unfamiliar with a 'hashtag' or how many characters are allowed in each tweet, read on for the essential facts of the popular website...

There are 200million Twitter users (Twitterers - not Tweeters) worldwide.

About 10million of these users are from the UK.

A tweet can be no more than 140 characters long.

(verb) - to tweet, tweeting, tweeted. To tweet is the act of publishing a message - a Tweet - on Twitter.

An incredible 400million Tweets are sent every day.

Retweet (RT) can be used two ways. Retweet (noun) is a Tweet by another user which has been shared to you by someone you follow. Retweet (verb) - to retweet, retweeting, retweeted - a tweet that is shared with others.

Around 80% of UK users are use their mobile to Tweet compared to 60% globally.

The first tweet was posted on March 21, 2006 by creator Jack Dorsey.

To follow someone on Twitter is to subscribe to their Tweets and updates on the site.

Users can favourite a Tweet by clicking the yellow star next to the text. Favourites (using the American spelling 'Favorites' on Twitter) can be seen by other users.

It took three years, two months and one day for the first billion Tweets to be sent. The same number are now sent every two-and-a-half days.

Only 60% of users actively Tweet - the rest use the platform to silently follow their favourite users and interests.

A direct message - known as a DM - is a private Tweet sent between a two users who both follow each other.

Users can write in their Bio a short personal description of themselves - in 160 characters or less.

The @ sign is used to mention Twitter users. When a username is preceded by the @ sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter profile.

A user's Twitter handle is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL.

The # (hashtag) symbol marks keywords, topics and phrases in a Tweet and adds to the overall conversation on Twitter. This feature was created organically by Twitter users.

refers to when a hashtag, phrase or topic is posted faster than other topics.