No, I’m not trying to swear in the headline of this post, though the three symbols in a row might have led you to question my professional judgment. More and more, I’m seeing people drop a period before the @ when starting a tweet with a username, such as “@estherk I wish I could be at #tribefest”. You might, as I did, wonder why some tweets appear like this “.@eJphil reports on #tribefest”. (By the way, I’m making up these tweets as examples).
One Forty to the rescue! Laura Fitton (@pistachio) runs this smart “Social Business Software Hub”, which recently blogged 5 Common Twitter Mistakes and How to Fix Them. It’s worth reading. I’ll share the fifth one with you here, since it’s a juicy factoid I’m betting many people are curious about:
@ vs. .@ The way that Twitter is constructed, only people that also follow whoever you are @replying can see that @reply. Sometimes, people will start a Tweet with @ when its not intended to be an @reply, though. For instance, @CNNs coverage of the Egyptian riots. If you Tweeted that, only your followers that follow @CNN will see that Tweet in their timeline.
HOW TO FIX: Want everyone to see those Tweets? Use the .@ trick: stick a period in front of the @ sign and itll send the Tweet into the main Twitter stream for all to enjoy.
See? Simple and brilliant explanation. Now go check out their blog for many more.
.@y’all, see you on Twitter!