@replies (or @mentions) are one of Twitter's most powerful conversational features. Tweets that are @replies are public and accessible to all Twitter users from your Twitter page, but they are only aimed to one Twitter user. Users can send out replies to other users' tweets for three reasons: to reply to a specific question or discussion, to comment on something said in another tweet, or to tell the sender that he or she has been mentioned in another tweet.
Users can also send direct messages (or DMs) to each other. These are private communications that cannot be seen by anyone else including the sender and recipient. Direct messages can only be sent to users who have been added as contacts on your phone or through other means such as email or social networking sites. While it is possible to send tweets that are @replies from an external account, this feature is not commonly used.
In order to send a reply, you need to include the "@" symbol along with the username of the person you want to talk to. For example, if I wanted to reply to someone named "John" I would type "@John". You can also mention people in your reply by adding their usernames ahead of time (such as "I like your shirt too @John"). Replies will go into the conversation thread between you and the original tweeter.
Instead of putting the @username in the midst of a tweet, a @reply puts it at the beginning. Any tweets containing a @reply appear in the feeds of the person to whom you are responding, as well as everyone who follows both you and the person being referenced.
Users can respond to other users' tweets by simply including the @ symbol in their message along with the username of the user they want to reply to. The original tweeter will then receive a notification that someone has responded to their tweet. They will be able to see what others have said about their message if they choose to follow the sender of the reply.
A third type of interaction on Twitter is messaging or DM (direct message). These messages are sent directly from one user to another, excluding replies and mentions. Users can send messages to other users by entering the email address of the person they wish to communicate with into the direct message box when composing a tweet. The recipient will then receive an email containing the text of the message.
It is also possible for multiple people to send messages to another user called a group chat. When this happens, it is known as a group DM and only the participants in the chat can send messages to each other. Users can join these chats by adding the participants' usernames to the text of the message. A maximum of 140 characters allows for plenty of space to share photos, links, and more with your followers.
You may participate in Twitter discussions by reacting to people and mentioning them in your own tweets. A reply is a response to another user's tweet that begins with the @username of the person to whom you are responding. You can also send direct messages to other users. These will be displayed below their tweets.
Tweets and replies function almost identically, except that tweets are limited to 140 characters while replies can be longer. When you reply to someone's tweet, they will receive a notification that there is a new reply waiting for them. They must then click on the link provided in order to view your comment.
Replies show up in the conversation thread as normal tweets, but with a special icon next to it indicating that it is a reply. Users can hide specific tweets or threads from their feed by clicking on the hidden button next to each item. This will not affect your ability to respond to those users! Hidden tweets and threads will still appear in other users' feeds if they were looking at those threads/tweets earlier.
Users can follow anyone who is following them. If someone wants to know when you have something new to say, you will get an email notification telling you to check out their profile. From there, you can choose to follow them back.
Twitter users can follow anyone, including companies and organizations.
A tweet that includes the Twitter username of another account, preceded by the "@" sign. "Hello, @TwitterSupport!" for example. Where it displays to the sender on the sender's public tweets profile page. Where it displays to the recipient: on the recipient's notifications page, which only they have access to. By default, only those who are following the original tweeter will see this notification.
Other examples include: "@twitter I love you! - Fred" or "I hate @twitter how can they not fix their bugs? - Jack".
A tweet can also be called a message. Which is why these sentences are equivalent: "Me gusta @twitter, es suave." and "El usuario de Twitter @es_suave".
Although less commonly used, sentences including the word "tweet" can be correct English as well. "TWEET ME IF YOU WANT TO SEE MY SPECIAL PHOTO!".