Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones: Basic Features


It seems like only yesterday Twitter® for BlackBerry® Smartphones was revealed to the world via a limited preview. Since then, and throughout the public beta, the development team has been hard at work listening to and incorporating your feedback. Now that Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones is no longer in beta, we thought it would be a good idea to review some of the key features for users new to the app. Today we’ll be looking at some of basic functions to help you get tweeting; in future posts we’ll tackle more advanced features. Anyone interested in learning more can check out the handy Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones user guide, which contains a lot of the information we’ll be discussing here. Let’s get started!

Twitter Basics

Twitter login:

Before you can get tweeting with Twitter for BlackBerry smartphones, you need to login with your Twitter account information. If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, don’t worry – you can sign up right from within the app!

1. On the BlackBerry Smartphone Home screen or in a folder, click the Twitter icon.
a) If you already have a Twitter account, type your login information. Click Login.
b) If you do not have a Twitter account, click Sign Up.

Menu options:

The Twitter menu is where you’ll find many useful Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones functions. We’ll be covering some of these features today and others in future posts, but it’s important to note that they’re all housed in one handy place and can be accessed by pressing the Menu key on your BlackBerry smartphone.

Check for latest version of Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones:

The Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones development team is always finding new ways to improve the app, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest version to maximize the Twitter experience on your BlackBerry smartphone.

1. Press the Menu key.
2. Click Options.
a) To check for the latest version manually, click Check for Upgrade Now. Complete the instructions on the screen.
b) To check for the latest version automatically, select the Automatically Check for the Newest Updates check box.

Start Tweeting!

Reading, writing and responding to tweets is the core of the Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones experience. Below you’ll find instructions on the three basic ways to send a tweet out to the world (posting a tweet, retweeting and replying to tweets), as well as sharing tweets with others and adding cool things to your tweets like links and photos.

Post a tweet:

1. On the Twitter Home screen, in the What’s happening? field, type a tweet (140 characters or less!).
2. Click Update.

Reply to a tweet:

An @reply is “a public message sent from one person to another, distinguished from normal updates by the @username prefix” (via the Twitter FAQ). Here’s how you reply to tweets in your tweet stream:

1. Highlight a tweet.
2. Press the Menu key.
a) To reply to the person that posted the tweet, click Reply.
b) To reply to all of the people that are mentioned in a tweet, click Reply All.

Retweet a tweet:

Retweeting is “the act of forwarding another user’s tweet to all of your followers” (via the Twitter Glossary) and is a great way to both share and discover information on Twitter. What are you waiting for? Start retweeting!

1. On the Twitter Home screen, highlight a tweet.
2. Press the Menu key.
3. Click Retweet until the Twitter Home screen appears.

Add a picture to your tweet:

1. On the Twitter Home screen, in the What’s happening? field, type a tweet.
2. Press the Menu key or camera icon on home screen.
3. Click Add Photo.
4. Click your desired picture.
5. Click Tweet.

Add a link to a tweet or direct message:

1. While browsing the internet from your BlackBerry smartphone, from a web page, press the Menu key.
2. Click Send Page Address.
3. Click Twitter.
4. Click Direct Message or Tweet.
5. Type your tweet.
6. You will be prompted to shorten link, click Continue.
7. Select Replace to replace the link with the shortened link or Skip.
8. Click Tweet.

Send a tweet to an external application (ie. Facebook or email):

1. Highlight a tweet.
2. Press the Menu key.
3. Click Send To.
4. Select which external application you’d like to send the tweet to.

Set tweet as your Facebook status:

1. Highlight a tweet.
2. Press the Menu key.
3. Click Send To.
4. Click Facebook.
5. Click Share.

Direct Messaging

Direct messages are another great way to keep in touch with your friends on Twitter. Also called a DM, “direct messages are private messages between only the sender and recipient” (via the Twitter Glossary). It’s important to note that you can’t send a direct message to someone who is not following you.

Send a direct message:

1. Press the Menu key.
2. Click Direct Messages.
3. Click Compose Message.
4. Type part of a person’s name or Twitter user name.
5. Click a person.
6. Type your direct message.
7. Click Send.

That’s all for now! Check back later for more installments, as we dive deeper into some of the advanced features of Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones. Have any questions about Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones functionality that you’d like answered? Please let us know by posting a comment.

About Sean Hungerford

I’m the head of Product Management for BBM. I lead a team of incredible product managers that work closely with the development and marketing teams to bring the world’s best mobile social networking experience to users on BlackBerry, Android and iPhone. When I’m not busy with BBM you may find me on the tennis court or exploring KW with my Irish R&W Setter named River (for more on him check out my BBM Channel C0024F014 #Shamelessplug).

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