characters. At press time, Twitter announced it was
considering a move to stop counting photos and links
in its character limit, which would give users the opportunity to compose longer messages. Twitter can be
accessed via a user’s computer, tablet, or smartphone.
New users can register via the Twitter website,
https://twitter.com/signup, and by clicking on “sign
up” or by using one of the many Twitter applications
(apps) that are available for download via iTunes or
Google Play. The following are examples of popular
third-party Twitter apps:
• Twitterrific 5, Tweetbot 3 (iPhone only), Echofon Pro,
and Osfoora 2 are examples of apps that are popular for
•Carbon for Twitter, Fenix for Twitter, Hoot Suite, plume,
Talon for Twitter, and Tinfoil for Twitter are some of
the most popular apps for Android devices.
When signing up, you are prompted to choose a
username. The only requirements for usernames are
that they be unique, limited to 15 characters or less,
and not contain the words “Twitter” or “admin.”
Once registered, give careful consideration to the
image you want to present to the Twitterverse. As a
health care professional, the content of a Twitter profile
can be extremely important because it is indexed by
major search engines and easily discovered by cowork-
ers, family, friends, and patients.
Your profile picture can speak volumes about you.
When a user first joins Twitter, the default profile
picture is an egg. “Hatching” the egg by uploading a
picture is important, as it adds to your profile’s credibil-
ity and personality. In other words, if you’re going to
take the time to set up a Twitter account, take the time
to include a photo. Your profile picture can be modi-
fied to reflect the image you want to project. Having
trouble getting started with Twitter? Check out the
Twitter Help Center at
Twitter—a news and networking tool
In the fast-paced world of surgical practice and training, it can be hard to keep up with current events and
information. Twitter is a valuable resource for news,
often providing real-time updates on what is happening around the globe. Not only can you, a physician,
share perspectives and ideas, but you can also obtain
information on new literature, conferences, and best
practices related to a variety of specialty topics.
Twitter also is an effective means of networking
with other users who share your interests. Once an
account is established, you may search for institutions,
organizations, and individuals with which you want to
connect. Whenever you decide to “follow” individuals, agencies, institutions, media outlets, and so on, the
content they post will appear on your Twitter feed. To
start following another user, click the “Follow” button
next to the user name or on the person’s or institution’s profile.
Once you start following others, take the opportunity to scroll through your Twitter feed before you
start tweeting to observe how others in your area of
expertise use the social media tool. It is not uncommon
for an individual to follow multiple users without posting any original content.
As you become more proficient in using Twitter,
you will likely find that following journals that appeal
to your interests can be a good way to keep up with