How to Use Twitter with Instant Messaging

by Alexia Petrakos

Twitter looks like just another time-sink, but it's a great way to increase exposure to your sites, find some new and interesting things on the web, keep track of what your friends are doing and perhaps make new friends. You can update Twitter through your browser, but you can also use your instant messenger program (AIM, GTalk, Jabber, LJTalk or .Mac) to quickly send updates (aka Tweets) to Twitter.

Be forewarned, though, if you've got an addictive personality - it will suck you in.

If you haven't already, go to Twitter.com and hit the "Join For Free" link to create your account.

Sign into Twitter.

Select the "Settings" link on the top of the page.

Hit the "Phone & IM" link the top of this page to enter in your Instant Messenger username and select which program you use.

Type in your IM username and select your Instant Messenger client, then hit the "Save" button.

Send the string of letters that appears on the next page to the Twitter Instant Messenger account (TwitterIM for AOL Instant Messenger) using your Instant Messenger program and wait for a response from Twitter. Twitter will respond: "Your device has been verified and is on. Send 'off' at any time to silence. Send 'help' for more."

Fire up your instant messenger program and send an IM instead of going to the website to update your tweets!

Tip

  • check If you've followed all the steps and Twitter does not send an IM back to you, hit the "Delete and Start Over" button on the "Phone & IM" page and start back on Step 4.

Warnings

  • close Twitter is addictive, pace yourself.
  • close Be courteous and respectful of other folks. No one likes a troll.
  • close If you market your website or blog with Twitter, be a good 'net citizen and intersperse some non-advertising tweets.

Items you will need

About the Author

Alexia Petrakos has been working in the web industry for 10 years, helping clients such as Cartoon Network, CNN, Nascar, CARE USA. Mainly focusing on front-end web coding, she's also done technical writing and QA. Alexia's taught several classes on HTML & Web Development at workplaces and local libraries. Her love for computers was nurtured by her father who always brought home the latest technologies. When she's not geeking out Alexia is often found playing with paint, paper & fabric.