Tweets that begin with the @Sign Can only be seen by mutual followers. *
More often than not when I tweet this simple fact, people say “Thanks, I didn’t know that”.
Periodically I’ll get the trollish: “Are you sure about that?”
Let’s see what Twitter has to say from it’s own resource page
Where do people’s @replies appear for other users?
If you’re not the sender or recipient of an @reply, you may still see an @reply to someone else in your timeline. Users will see @replies in their Home timeline if they are following both the sender and recipient of the update. Otherwise, they won’t see the @reply unless they visit the sender’s Profile page. If you send a reply to someone, it does not show on their profile page. Only replies that person has sent will show on their profile.
This is a rather hedged way Twitter describes it’s REPLY button. This sociological response is used innocuously tens of millions of times per day. Twitter and many otherwise smart, intelligent people are wasting valuable technology ~ and ignoring it’s accompanying psychological impact. This naked use of the Reply button diminishes by default our networking effectiveness.
If we are open Networkers and are sincerely trying to enlarge other people’s audience, then using the Reply button, and starting our Tweets with the @ Sign is a complete waste of time. We are basically carrying on a private conversation.
I am a Networker. Every communication has something in front of that first @ Sign. I will hit the reply button, but only so I can get the Twitter Handle correct, and then I will type something in front of their name. This means what exactly? That EVERYONE on my timeline can see what I am saying. It compels me to be professional, and to gear my communications to a mainstream audience. Every single tweet could and should give whomever I am communicating with an introduction to my world of connections. I am spreading love each time I take the time to write something in front of the first end users @TwitterHandle. I don’t take the easy, lazy route, I take my time, and do it right. This is me advertising for them. I am introducing them by implication to everyone I know. This is what I want. I want to help them.
When you see someone using the reply button? They are not helping anyone gain any followers, because the only people who see it are already following you both!!
*Footnote: This is actually the language that Twitter used circa 2009 – 2013. They have changed the way they convey this as a result of wanting users to make use of their Reply and RT Button, neither of which I recommend. I do not recommend the RT Button AT ALL, and instead encourage the use of the Classic or “Traditional” Retweet. This is accomplished by putting RT in front of a tweet that we cut/paste from our timeline in whole. MT is “Modified” Tweet for those Tweets we edit to fit 140 Characters. You can read more about the Classic ReTweet Button for Mozilla Firefox on my old Blog.