Table 1.

Definitions of Basic Twitter Terms and Metrics

TermDescription
Twitter userA user who has a unique account
Twitter handle/usernameThe name and/or identity of a user on Twitter (e.g., @STFM_FM), applies to individuals as well as organizations and businesses
TweetA message limited to 280 characters posted by a Twitter user
Retweet (RT)A tweet that is forwarded by a Twitter user who did not author the original tweet
FollowerA user who receives all of the tweets of the Twitter user account holder
HashtagA topic or event that a user wants to send a tweet about. To easily identify it, the # symbol precedes the topic word/phrase (e.g., #womenInMedicine)
Tweet initial impressionsThe number of users who see the tweet when it is initially posted
Tweet spreadThe number of people who see the tweet initially and after it is propagated (or retweeted)
TrendingTopics that—according to specific algorithms tailored to individual users, are popular at a given time. Trends are decided based on sharp spikes on a topic compared to the norm.
ViralA tweet that spreads quickly to a large number of users
ConnectednessA measure and spatial representation of the connectivity of users and followers and the relationship between them.