Twitter Replies & Mentions – Now An Even More Important Distinction

Twitter Lane by Duncan Hall

I’ve written about the difference between Replies and Mentions on Twitter before, but with this week’s changes to Twitter profiles, it’s even more important that you understand the distinction.

We all know that referencing someone’s twitter username with an @ symbol in front creates a link to their profile in your tweet.

Did you realise that where you place that @username can have a big impact on the visibility of your tweet?

So, what’s the difference between a reply and a mention?

When a tweet begins with @username Twitter interprets this as a reply. Only those following both you and the person you are referencing will see the tweet in their timeline.

Here’s an example of a reply:

A mention, on the other hand, references someone’s @usermane in the body of a tweet and all your followers can see it. This is why you sometimes see people putting a full-stop in front of a reply – so that it is visible to all of their followers.

Here’s an example of a mention:

With Twitter’s new profile layout, anyone viewing your profile will not see your replies without an extra click… who’s going to bother with that?

Twitter Tweets & Replies

If you go to our @UKSourcers Twitter profile and click “Tweets and replies” you will probably see some updates that wouldn’t otherwise have had come up in your main Twitter feed. You’re probably quite relieved that you didn’t have to see us saying “thanks” or “good luck” to people that you don’t follow.

So, if you’re just shooting the breeze with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, use replies as normal.

If you’re trying to spread content far and wide, or give someone kudos, make sure you mention @usernames in the body of your tweet, not at the start, so that all your followers see.

About TheSourceress

Katharine Robinson has written 98 post(s) for this blog.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.

Katharine (aka TheSourceress) began sourcing in April 2008 with a small Executive Search business specialising in Renewable Energy and, in March 2010, won the title of Grandmaster Sourcer at SourceCon in San Diego. Katharine has also worked in-house with Capgemini Consulting and is now working as a Freelance Consultant and Trainer.