How to Reply to a Tweet on Twitter

By Aaron Parson

With a single click, reply to any tweet to join a conversation, or use a mention to bring in your own followers.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Twitter account

On Twitter, chatting with other members isn't limited to your friends. Any tweet you see, be it from a family member, celebrity or complete stranger is fair game for you to reply to -- provided you follow Twitter's rules against spam and harassment. Of course, there's no guarantee that the person you answer will pay any attention to your reply, but there's nothing stopping you from having your say.

Reply From the Twitter App

Replies and mentions work exactly the same in Twitter's smartphone apps as they do on the Twitter website. Just tap the Reply arrow beneath a tweet to start your message.

Reply to a Tweet

To start a reply, click the Reply arrow beneath the tweet you want to answer. Twitter pops up a message box for a new tweet with the target's username already filled in.

Reply on Twitter

To reply, just fill out the rest of the message after the username and click Tweet.

Sending a reply

Tip

Typing a username into a new tweet by hand also works to send a message, but it isn't quite the same as using the Reply button. When you use the button, Twitter keeps track of the original tweet that you're replying to, allowing readers to easily view a chain of replies in the correct order. If you enter a username yourself, you miss out on this feature.

Who Sees a Reply?

Normally, replies only appear on your own timeline and profile, and in the Notifications and Mentions of the person you're responding to. They aren't actually private messages, however; anyone who visits your Twitter profile directly or who opens the details page for the original tweet will see your reply. Your reply also shows up on the timelines of any members who follow both you and the original poster, but not of members who follow only one or the other.

Tip

To send a reply in private, use a Direct Message instead. Direct Messages only work with people who follow your account.

Because of this narrow audience, a reply is best used when you want to talk directly to the original poster. If you're more interested in expanding the conversation to your own followers, tweak the format of the reply to turn it into a mention.

Include Your Followers

After you click the Reply arrow, insert one or more characters before the original poster's name, changing the reply into a mention. It doesn't matter what characters you use -- add something as simple as a single period or work the username fluidly into the text of your reply.

Sending a reply

As long as you mention the original poster's username somewhere in the reply, but not at the very beginning, your tweet goes out both to the original poster and to all of your followers.

Tip

To make it easier for your followers to catch up on the conversation, retweet the original post before replying to it.

Retweeting a post

Reply From the Twitter App

Replies and mentions work exactly the same in Twitter's smartphone apps as they do on the Twitter website. Just tap the Reply arrow beneath a tweet to start your message.

Replying from the App