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I’m a Twexpert Giving Twitter Twips: Using the @ Reply Function on Twitter

This is a tweet that I wish you’d seen but probably didn’t. There are a lot of tweets like this one and if you haven’t been on twitter for 928 years (or four) you might not know that your updates aren’t being seen.

In the earliest days of twitter you’d see a stream starting with @whomever and there was no natural filtering of that. As Twitter became more popular it was impossible to understand who was speaking to whom as random strangers were popping in and out of timelines. Things changed and now if a tweet begins with @ then the only people who will see it are those who follow both the originator and the intended recipient of said tweet.

This is actually a great example. Franki used the “quote tweet” function on her mobile device and it added a ” before @JessicaGottlieb.

Because Franki’s tweet didn’t begin with @ everyone in her timeline was able to see it. Because my tweet that replied began with @franki_ the only folks who saw it were probably Franki and whomever else follows both of us (a small number of people to be sure).

When you want to have a sort of “inside conversation” on twitter use the @ reply, that’s what it’s for. Your followers will thank you. When you want to alert everyone you know of something wonderful that someone else has done try a tweet that looks like this.


You can use a . an ! or even just a word. You can add Look at @___ or check out what @___ wrote/did/painted/sang.

Just remember that if you start with @ your audience is much smaller.

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