How to Use Twitter @Replies and Direct Messages

Reply to someone on Twitter publicly or privately

What to Know

  • Use an @reply in the format @name message to reply publically to a specific person on Twitter.
  • Don't use an @reply if you don't want your reply to be public. Instead, use DMs for private messages.
  • Tap the New Messages icon in the app to send a DM. Tap the Envelope to access your DMs.

This article explains the different between @replies and direct messages on Twitter and describes how to send them. This information applies to the Twitter mobile app and the web browser version of Twitter.

What Are Twitter @Replies?

When you want to reply publicly to someone on Twitter, use @reply at the beginning of your tweet. You should also know how to send a private message on Twitter when you don't want everyone to see your conversation.

On Twitter, @reply is a way to reply to something a specific person posted. A typical @reply would look like this: @username message. For example, if you send a message to @linroeder, your @reply would look like this:

  • @linroeder How are you?

When someone replies to one of your posts using @reply, the tweet shows up on your profile page under Tweets & replies.

Tweets & Replies on

Don't use @reply if you don't want your message to be public. If you want to send a private message, use a DM (direct message) instead.

What's a Direct Message?

Twitter DMs are private messages that can only be read by the individuals you send them to. To access your Direct Messages in the Twitter app, tap the Envelope at the bottom of the screen. To send a DM, tap the New Message icon.

Mail and Send Message icons in the Twitter app

On, select Messages on the left side of the page to see your DM conversations and send new DMs.

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