How to use @ and . on Twitter
by Naomi, DSP Social Media Assistant
Every Twitter user has seen the symbols @ and . show up in their feeds. Let’s see what they mean and how to use them.
The @ symbol precedes a Twitter username and is used as a call out to that user. When combined as @Twittername it’s also a link to the user’s profile; click on the blue @Twittername to go to that user’s profile. If you want to have a conversation with another user then you need to call them by typing @Twittername. This lets the other user know you’ve included them in a public message. Be advised, if you start a tweet with @Twittername only users who follow both you AND the other user will see that tweet.
If you start a tweet with @Twittername Twitter assumes you and that user are having a conversation that may disinterest others so it only shows those tweets to users who follow BOTH you and the @Twittername. If you want all followers on both sides to see that tweet most users add the symbol . before the @Twittername so it looks like this: .@Twittername (any character can be used but the . symbol is by far the most commonly used and therefore the symbol we’ll use here.)
In this example only users who follow BOTH Nic Starr and Dreamspinner Press saw this tweet because Nic Starr started the tweet with the @dreamspinners but didn’t include the symbol . before our @dreamspinners Twittername:
In this example, Cardeno C. wanted all followers on both sides to see the tweet so the .@Twittername was used:
However in some cases when a user wants relative privacy for a tweet not using the .@Twittername is advisable:
Finally, you don’t need to use the .@Twittername construct in any other context other than a tweet’s very beginning. Tweets which include regular text before @Twittername will automatically be seen by all followers.