30 Twitter tips hath September: The limits of @replies
In September, we’re offering a Twitter tip a day. Send us your thoughts and suggestions.
[Tweet this tip]
Day 2: Starting tweets w/ @Jones means only you, Jones and
your shared followers see it in their stream.
Often, Twitterers forget this limitation when sending out a tweet, so instead of being able to widely tweet someone’s news, it actually limits it. So starting a tweet with “@someone” limits it to common followers. If you have 5,000 followers and Jones has 5,000 followers, but only 10 followers in common, only you, Jones and 10 others will see the tweet in their stream (as opposed to 5,001 if you stream if you tweet it out normally).
So if you want to tell all of your followers “@Jane had a baby!!” you have a couple of options:
- “.@Jane had a baby!!” (That single starting period makes it a tweet and not just an @reply.) (But it also breaks the link to the conversation with the “in reply to” feature.)
- “Guess who had a baby? @Jane!” (Again, @Jane will see it in her @replies, as will all of your followers.)
A little more on Twitter’s fairly recent change to @replies in this post.