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Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 3 (Multimedia)

An Image for Twitter

Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing the many tools that you have available when posting a tweet on Twitter. Today, we will look at ways to add spice to your tweets, by showing you how to add links, images, and videos to your tweet. Using multimedia can add a depth to your tweets that your followers can appreciate. You can tweet your videos that share your vision, links to articles that emphasis the importance of the work you’re doing, and/or photos of the country that you have a heart for. Like the old adage says, “A picture is worth a thousand words“. On Twitter, a thousands words is even more powerful when your limited to 140 characters.

Anatomy of a Tweet: Images

Let us begin by looking at how to add an image to Twitter. You will need to locate an image on your computer that you would like to tweet. I will tweet the following image.

An Image for Twitter

You will need to log into Twitter, and visit your home timeline. On your home timeline, write a short tweet in the tweet box. If you need help on tweeting, you can visit our previous article here. Once you begin typing your tweet, a set of tools will display underneath the tweet box. Here is an example.

Example of Tweet Tools

If you click the camera icon on the bottom left, you will see a file dialog pop up. This dialog displays files on your computer that you can upload to Twitter. Here is an example of the file dialog box:

Example of a File Dialog

Find and select the image that you wish to upload, and press “Open”. You will now see a thumbnail in the tweet box that looks similar to this:

Twitter Thumbnail of Image in Tweet

You can only upload one image per tweet. Once you have finished typing your tweet, press the “Tweet” button. Now locate the new tweet on your home timeline. To see the image, just click on the newly posted tweet, and a pane will slide out on the right. In this pane, you can read the tweet, see the image that you uploaded, and find other interesting tweet information. The pane will look similar to the image below.

Tweet Details with Image

Whenever you click on any tweet on the timeline, this pane will slide open on the right. It will display valuable information about the tweeter, the tweet, and other details that you might find interesting. The content of the pane will change based on the contents of the tweet. So if you add an image, it will show the image along with the tweet. If you add a video, it will embed a video player in the pane. The content varies based on the type of tools you are using in the tweet.  One more thing you should note is the image icon on the top right of the tweet.  All tweets with an image will have this icon on the tweet.  Here is what the icon looks like:

Example of a Tweet with a Image

These icons give you the ability to quickly see if the tweet has any multimedia attached to it.

Anatomy of a Tweet: Links

Even though tweeting a link is very simple, Twitter added some robust tools that run in the background, and provide some extra features when you add a link. Every time you post a link, Twitter will automatically shorten your link to 19 characters. This gives you 121 characters remaining to describe the link, add hashtags, or even mention other tweeters. They also compare the link to a database of potentially dangerous websites, and will warn tweeters of these links. It also checks if the link is one of the many online video hosting services, and will embed the video in your tweet on the fly. We will discuss this in a few minutes. So let us begin by adding a link to this page in your next tweet. The link is http://www.missiodigio.com/2011/10/21/anatomy-of-a-tweet-part-3-multimedia.

Go ahead and visit your home timeline. Type in your tweet with no more than 121 characters, and then copy and paste the link above into your tweet box. Once pasted in,  your tweet box will look similar to this:

Example of a Link in the Tweet Box

If the link is longer then 13 characters, then you will see a message that states “Link will appear shortened” next to the “Tweet” button. As stated above, Twitter uses an internal link shortener to embed the link in your tweet. This message is informing you that they have shortened your link.  Click the “Tweet” button, and look at the tweet on the home timeline. Here is an example of the tweet I tweeted.

Example of a Link in a Tweet

You will notice that it looks like your link, but it is shortened with an elipses at the end. In reality the link has been shortened and changed to http://t.co/Gzmpaln7, but they want people to see where the link will actually take them. This way tweeters can decide if they want to follow the link.

Anatomy of a Tweet: Videos

With over 3 billion videos viewed daily on YouTube, video is vastly becoming the perfect medium for describing a need, providing a solution, and/or sharing your vision. Twitter provides an easy way to embed videos into your tweets, but you must use an external video hosting service, like YouTube, to store your videos. Twitter does not let you upload videos to their website. So once you upload a video to one of the following video hosting services, you can just add the link to your tweet similar to the previous section.

Let’s go ahead and add the Missio Digio Introduction video to your tweet. The video is hosted on YouTube, and can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQzAIjIU8XY. So visit your home timeline,  and type a tweet in the tweet box. Next copy and paste the link for the video into the tweet box. Twitter will again inform you that the link has been shortened. When you are done, you can click the “Tweet” button. Your new tweet should look similar to this:

Example of a Tweet with a Video

Notice the video icon in the top right corner of the tweet.  Any tweet that has a video in it will have this icon.  Locate your tweet on your home timeline, and click it. Similar to images, once you click the tweet, a pane will slide out on the right. In the pane, you will see the original tweet, the video which can be played in the pane, and other information about the tweet. It should look similar to this:

Example of Video Player in Pane

Twitter has definitely created some powerful tools that you can use to make your tweets more engaging to your followers. These tools are easy to implement, and powerful in getting your message out. Utilizing the tools Twitter provides, can help you capture the hearts of your Twitter followers, and direct their passions to the work God is doing in the world today. So add a little spice to your tweets, and happy tweeting.

Welcome to Missio Digio's Twitter 101 series. This is our first series of posts developed by Missio Digio. This series is designed to help you discover new ways to use Social Media in your day to day operations, and strengthen your communication with your congregants and/or supporter base. If you have any questions, please submit them under "Got a question?" or, just add a comment below.

Other Articles in the Series

  1. Twitter 101: A New Form of Communication
  2. Twitter 101: The Power of Social Media
  3. Twitter 101: Signing Up & Guided Tour [video]
  4. Twitter 101: Following & Leading
  5. Twitter 101: Tweeting
  6. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 1
  7. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 2
  8. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 3 (Multimedia)
  9. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 4 (Location-Based Tweeting)
  10. Twitter 101: Direct Messaging
  11. Twitter 101: Organizing with Lists
  12. Twitter 101: Searching the Twittersphere
  13. Twitter 101: Fresh Coat of Paint
  14. Twitter 101: Text to Tweet