Twitter @reply vs @mention. Don’t lose your exposure!

If you think there is no any difference in @reply and @mention when used in your twitter status message you are so wrong! I have lost quite a lot of my messages exposure because of this mistake. I do not have thousands of followers but I am running twitter web 2.0 app that pushes a lot of status updates for other users. And because of my “small” mistake I have been loosing a lot of exposure till today! Twitter stuff write about it on their blog as a feature but for me it was a pain to get to know about it. And probably most of you don’t know how it works exactly.

Most of twitter users use twitter nicknames with AT symbol on the begging during conversation with others. But there is one more hidden functionality than showing it on @reply tab of somebody’s twitter account. When you @reply to someone with his nick on the beginning of your status message then this update is seen only be those who follow both of you! You and him. So others can’t be a part of the conversation until they visit your twitter account directly (like http://twitter.com/yournick/).

Now you know what is a @reply. So how @mention can be different? It works the way that most of us would expect for a @reply. You use @mention instead of @reply only if you put it in the body of your status update (never on the beginning!). Such message is seen by all of your followers and it is linked to account of person that you @mention.

Like for me it is just a huge misleading and @reply should be no different from @mention… If someone have not looked to twitter FAQ most probably he has no idea about this difference. Even twitter stuff writes on their blog that usually no one knows it…

So who needs a feature that is not known and so misleading? Do you think it should be called feature or rather a bug…?

6 Responses to “Twitter @reply vs @mention. Don’t lose your exposure!”


  • Uhh!! Thank you very much for your post. I never know about this too. Always using @reply.

  • I don’t mean to be a grammar nazi, but you continually say ‘loose’, which means “not tight” instead of ‘lose’, which means “no longer have possession of.” For example, when you lose weight, your pants will become loose. You undo the knot on your tie a little bit so it will be looser, but if you’re a real loser, you probably can’t afford a tie.

  • Hi.

    I wonder if you can help. When i use @username in the main body of my tweet (and not at the beginning), i’m having a little problem finding it. Yes i can see my tweet in my profile but nowhere else. On the other hand, when i type @username into the search box, i see many other users’ tweets who have mentioned that person but no sign of mines? Am i doing something wrong?

  • Thanks for the great post! Being a relative newbie, I did not know this. I was always curious to see why all of these @replies where not showing up in my feed, after all a lot of people post 10-15x as many @replies as regular tweets.

  • Hi ,
    Im glad for once someone decided to explain this in simple terms. Im not sure why its not clearer for someone. Also not clear why limited characters also :)

    Thanks again!

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