Twitter’s @reply change.

3 minute read

In my last blog about Twitter I mentioned @name replies and how they are used. You may have noticed on Twitter today that there has been a lot of talk about #fixreplies. Not only does this highlight the usefulness of a good hashtag, it also brings to light two important points about Twitter.

  • Twitter is evolving incredibly quickly
  • Different people use Twitter in completely different ways

The blog I posted last week explained the @name system as it currently is but what I failed to mention is that there was, until today, an option to view all @name tweets from people that you follow in your own feed. The #fixreplies campaign is trying to convince Twitter to re-instate this option.

These people would prefer to see all replies in their feed rather than only those directed at people they follow. They argue that it allows them to see everything a celebrity says, regardless of who it is aimed at and that it also allows them to find new people to follow by seeing who their friends are talking to.

Personally I feel that it is preferable not to see every @reply in my feed, particularly for celebrities who may tweet several @replies at once, catching up on the messages they have received while they have been offline. There is, however, a way around this change. To view all of the tweets from a particular person, regardless of who they are directed at, you can simply view their twitter profile page.

If you are sending an @reply which you think all of your followers should see, you can simply append the tweet with the @name rather than starting with it. As I explained in my previous post on this subject any @name mention will be seen by the person it is intended for, but also all of your other followers, as long as the tweet doesn’t begin with their @name.

Whether you chose to keep your @replies out of your followers feeds or not is up to you and should be taken on a per-tweet basis. Know your followers and be aware of how they will react. If you are unsure I would advise keeping @replies in their intended form unless you feel that the reply is relevant to the majority of your followers.

If you have any questions on this, or any other topic related to tweet it @signupto.