About conversations on Twitter
Conversations are happening all the time on Twitter—and it all starts with just one reply to a Tweet.
Popular conversations are easy to find and join. We show you the most interesting content first, and when you join in, you will have the full character limit to craft your reply with. Below we’ve outlined some basics about conversations on Twitter, and how best to participate in them.
A reply is a response to another Tweet, and is one of the easiest ways to join in a conversation as it’s happening on Twitter.
When you reply to a Tweet, you can see the full list of participant usernames in the conversation by clicking or tapping the prompt above the Tweet. Usernames will not automatically be added to the beginning of the reply, giving you all available characters to use in your response.
How to post a reply
- Find the Tweet you want to reply to.
- Click or tap the reply icon
Note: A composer screen will pop up, where you will see the name of the person(s) you are directly replying to.
- Type in your message and click or tap Reply to post it.
Choose who can reply to your Tweet
When you start a new Tweet, you can choose who will be able to reply to it. You’ll see a default setting of Everyone can reply next to a globe icon in the compose Tweet box. Clicking or tapping this prior to posting your Tweet allows you to choose who can reply to you:
- From twitter.com or the Twitter for iOS or Android app, tap on the compose Tweet button.
- Click or tap Everyone can reply next to the globe icon to choose who can reply to your Tweet.
- Everyone -- this is the current default option. For public accounts, it means that everyone will continue to be able to reply. If your Tweets are protected, it means only people who follow you will continue to be able to reply.
- People you follow -- only people who you follow, as well as anyone you mention in the Tweet, will be able to reply.
- Only people you mention -- only people who you mention in the Tweet will be able to reply.
- When you’re ready, click or tap Tweet to send.
A few things to note:
- When your Tweet is live, people will see that you’ve limited who can reply to your Tweet.
- When you’ve invited certain people to reply, they will see a line of context right below the Tweet from their Home timeline letting them know that they (and anyone else selected) can reply and join the conversation. They will also receive a mention push notification if they have that setting on.
- Restrictions you place on your Tweets will only apply to the ability for others to reply to your Tweet. Others can still engage with your Tweet by, for example, liking or Retweeting it, or voting on a poll you include in your Tweet.
- Once you’ve published a Tweet, you cannot later change the restrictions other than by deleting the Tweet. Replies and Retweets of your Tweet will inherit the restrictions you placed on the root Tweet, but Quote Tweet will not inherit your restrictions. If the root Tweet is deleted, replies and Retweets will lose any previous restrictions.
- If you deactivate your account, any reply restrictions your Tweets currently have will lift, and if you reactivate your account during the reactivation window, all previous reply restrictions will be reapplied. However, during the window when your reply restrictions were lifted, it’s possible that replies that would have otherwise been restricted could have been added to your conversation.
From the compose screen, you can see the people in the conversation you will reply to. Click or tap Replying to… to bring up an editing screen with a list of everyone who is a part of the conversation.
Reply editing screen basics:
- Up to 50 people who are in the conversation will be displayed.
- Adding people: To add additional people to a conversation, swipe down to close the editing screen, and then simply type their username into your Tweet. A manually-typed username in the text box will count towards your character limit.
- Removing people: The people listed on the editing screen can be removed (except for the author of the original Tweet to whom you are directly replying). To remove people from the conversation in the editing screen, simply click or tap on the checkmark icon to deselect participants. Once someone is unselected, the checkmark icon will be unchecked.
- Blocked accounts: Accounts you have blocked will be visible to you in the recipient list, and will indicate that you have blocked them. From the editing screen, you can choose to remove the blocked account from the conversation by clicking or tapping on the checkmark icon Blocked accounts will not know you have removed them from the conversation and that you won’t see their replies.
- Note: If an account you have blocked visits your profile, they will see a message alerting them of the block.
Note: If your Tweets are not protected, then all replies are public, but only relevant people, such as those who follow you and someone who is part of the conversation, will see your reply in their Home timeline, even if you begin your reply with “.@”. If you would like all of your followers to see your reply, the best way to do so is by Retweeting or Quote Tweet.
When you receive a notification for a conversation, it will indicate whether it is a reply or a mention:
- If your username appears within the body of a Tweet, you will receive a mention notification.
- When someone replies to you, you will receive a reply notification.
- When you receive a notification, click or tap on it to view the conversation and who else is participating in it.
You can also view participants of a conversation from Tweets you see in your Home timeline, profile page, notifications, or from a Tweet detail. To view participants’ names, bio, and @usernames:
- Click or tap Replying to...
- From here you can see everyone who is included in this reply. You can also follow or unfollow people in this list.
Note: An account that you have blocked will still be visible to you in the list of people in the conversation, indicating they are blocked, but without their profile information displayed. You may choose to unblock them from this list by tapping on the blocked icon
You may notice that some replies in a conversation are not shown in chronological order. Replies are grouped by sub-conversations because we strive to show you the content that we think you’d be most interested in and contributes to the conversation in a meaningful way, such as content that is relevant, credible, and safe. For example, when ranking a reply higher, we consider factors such as if the original Tweet author has replied, or if a reply is from someone you follow.
Just like you can see the total number of likes and Retweets for any Tweet, you can also see how many people are participating in the conversation by the reply count. You’ll see a number next to the reply icon indicating how many direct replies the original Tweet has received. This number is not the total number of replies in the entire conversation.