How to Use Twitter @Replies and Direct Messages

Reply to someone on Twitter publicly or privately

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.

Information in this article applies to the Twitter mobile app and the web browser version of Twitter.

What Are Twitter @Replies?

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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