How to Reply to a Tweet on Twitter

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

The Retweet button is also present in the app.
The Retweet button is also present in the app.
credit: Courtesy of Twitter

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
Reply from anywhere you see tweets -- your timeline, tweet detail pages, etc.
credit: Image courtesy of Twitter

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

Sending a reply
Usernames count toward the 140-character limit.
credit: Image courtesy of Twitter

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.

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
The defining difference is the position of the username.
credit: Image courtesy of Twitter

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.

Retweeting a post
Click the Retweet icon to share a post with your followers.
credit: Image courtesy of Twitter

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
The Retweet button is also present in the app.
credit: Image courtesy of Twitter