How to reply using

Twitter.comI’m seeing this problem too often in my replies on Twitter, so I thought I make a little tutorial on “How to reply using”

The goal:
You want to reply to a given tweet.

The wrong way:
You just enter the the recipient of your reply, for example “@holgr“, into the little text box on and then add your reply. You might think this is ok, but it gets us to…

The problem:
I get the reply but I may not know what you’re referring to. See, here’s…

The right way:
You look for the tweet that you want to reply to and hit the little “reply” button on the website:
Find the reply button

After you click this, you’re taken to the text box on the top of the page to enter your reply. Notice how the text changes from “What are you doing?” to “Reply to loic:” (to which I’m replying in this example):
Time to reply

This way, Twitter sets a flag (if you need to know it’s: “in_reply_to_status_id”) and I get this little “in reply to” text that one can click, so I can see what you’re replying to:
The desired result

I hope this clears up some of the problems. The same applies when you’re using a Twitter client like Tweetdeck, if you do not use the reply function, the recipient won’t necessarily know what you’re talking about.
Look for the Reply to function in your app!

Extra tip:
Usually replies only show up for the recipient and for person X that’s also following you and the recipient of the reply. If you want the reply to show up for everyone of your followers just add add a character in front of the recipients @-name, for example “.@loic” (notice the dot). Notice this might disturb some of your followers because they all are now getting tweets they don’t necessarily care about. So think first before you use this method!

You might wonder why you can’t change this behaviour on Twitter. Well, this setting once existed but the Twitter team decided to remove that feature, so we have to use this little “hack”.

If you have any question about this let me know, by replying the right way of course. 🙂 I’m @holgr on Twitter. Sorry to @loic for using him as my example.