What's with all the acronyms on social media?

Published on 15/11/2016 in Tips & tricks from…

What's with all the acronyms on social media?

I can't keep track anymore.

Time is money. Maybe that's why all those messages on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are full of indecipherable acronyms. Or maybe it's because we're too lazy to type out words.

Personally, I'm not that old and I know what WTF, W8 and BRB mean (in case you don't: "what the f*ck", "wait" and "be right back"). But new acronyms are springing up like mushrooms.

Since I was busy looking them up, I thought I might as well write an article about them. It could only help you, right? Below are a few I regularly come across:

DM: Direct Message

I often see this on Twitter, but also Facebook. No, it's got nothing to do with a Flemish newspaper. It just means you should send a private message, or direct message, to that person.

FTW: For The Win

I always thought this meant the opposite of WTF. And many people probably think the same thing. But the real meaning is "for the win" and it’s often used in a sarcastic way. As in: he really did well (messed up).

IMO: In My Opinion

Quite self-explanatory. If someone uses this in a message, they want to emphasize that it's an opinion, not a fact.

LMK: Let Me Know

Another easy one (if you know it, of course).

NSFW: Not Safe For Work

Be careful using this abbreviation because what follows is usually too hot for your boss to see.

RT: Retweet

Another classic on Twitter. If you see this at the beginning of a tweet it means the person is sending out another person's tweet.

TBT: Throwback Thursday

Quite a popular one in recent months. On Thursdays, lots of people and companies post nostalgic stuff on social media. This is called "Throwback Thursday". Where did it originate? Somewhere in the US, of course.

YOLO: You Only Live Once

A popular expression, often used just before or right after you take a risk – or do something really stupid.

And if you don't have a clue how social media work? Well, I provide a step-by-step explanation in my other blogs, to keep you up to date:


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