Social Media Twitter How to Use Twitter @Replies and Direct Messages Share Pin Email Print John Lund/Getty Images Twitter Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating By Linda Roeder Writer Former Lifewire writer Linda Roeder is a longtime web enthusiast and consultant with a broad knowledge of how personal web pages, blogs, and social networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Linda Roeder Updated July 13, 2019 31 31 people found this article helpful What Are @Replies? The term "@replies" referred to a way that people reply to each other on Twitter. Instead of hitting a typical "Reply" button to reply to someone you can type an @reply at the beginning of your text. An @reply is always directed to a specific person in reply to something they've posted. When someone replies to one of your posts using an @reply, the tweet will show up on your profile page under "Tweets and replies. When you use an @reply it is always public, so don't use the @reply if you don't want your message to be public. If you do want to send a private message, use a DM (Direct Message). A typical @reply would look like this: @username message For example, if you are trying to send a message to @linroeder, your @reply would look like this: @linroeder How are you? What's a Direct Message? Direct messages are private messages that can only be read by the person you're sending the message to. To access Direct Messages tap the envelope icon, and then tap the new Message icon. In the address box, enter the name or username of the person you are trying to contact, then enter your message and hit send. This message will be received privately. It helps to use your friend's username, not their real name when sending them an @reply or direct message.