Using replies and mentions on twitter; a quick guide

When you first stumble across twitter, it can seem a little like trying to learn a new language.  So we've put together a quick guide to using the ampersand “@” symbol on twitter.

Replying on Twitter

When you Tweet directly at someone (by putting their @handle as the beginning of your Tweet), that Tweet only comes up in the feeds of users who follow both you and the person you are directly Tweeting at. Why? It’s pretty much so you don’t flood other people’s streams when you are tweeting back and forth with someone

Here's an example conversation between us and our “Head of Wellbeing”; Bingo (yes he is on twitter! @dogcalledbingo )

sample twitter conversation

If you followed @purpledoguk but not @dogcalledbingo, you wouldn't see any of this. If you followed both, you'd see the whole conversation just like you see everyone else's.

Replying on twitter

Making your conversation public

If you want to make a reply or a conversation public you can place a dot before you @mention.  Then your Tweet shows up in the feeds of all of your followers. If you don’t dot before you @mention, your tweet is considered conversational and only shows up on your stream, the stream of whoever you Tweeted at, and those lucky followers you both have in common.

So, if you want to Tweet directly at someone and you want it to go to all of your followers’ feeds, dot before you @mention. For example:timeline example
place a "." before you @mention. Then your Tweet shows up in the feeds of all of your followers.

Using Mentions:

A mention is any Twitter update that contains “@username” anywhere in the body of the Tweet. It's a bit like giving a shout out to someone.  Here's an example below:

Mentions show up just like regular Tweets in your timeline.

A mention is any Twitter update that contains "@username" anywhere in the body of the Tweet.

We hope that helps clear up some of the lingo used on Twitter.

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