The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter

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I can't believe that so many people misunderstand a super fundamental piece of Twitter's functionality. It's shocking.

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The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter

  1. Twitter has been around since 2006.
  2. And what really frustrates me…
  3. Is that so many people still screw up a really basic piece of Twitter’s functionality.
  4. Allow me to explain:
  5. I have something I need to get off my chest, something I need everyone to know !
  6. so I head to Twitter and I tweet this:
  7. @Patriots I hate all of you.!
  8. But there is a problem. !
  9. I want everybody to know. !
  10. But because the tweet started with an @ sign… !
  11. ONLY the traitors people who follow BOTH me AND the Patriots will see this tweet. !
  12. NOT all of my followers (and I have a lot)
  13. Which is EXCEPTIONAL for certain situations.* *But that's another Slideshare for another day.
  14. But not this one.
  15. So now a tweet like this: !
  16. So now a tweet like this: ! The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
  17. Will show up to all 1,000,000+ of my followers
  18. WHY?
  19. Because @ is not the first character of the tweet: The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
  20. When that happens, all of your followers see it no matter what else is in the tweet.
  21. Let’s take a look at another example:
  22. @wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
  23. Again, only going to the LIMITED number of my followers who ALSO follow Vince Wilfork. !
  24. NO GOOD !
  25. EVERYONE MUST KNOW !
  26. But it’s an easy fix: ! .@wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
  27. See that period at the beginning? ! .@wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
  28. . That is the most misunderstood piece of punctuation on Twitter. !
  29. Now that I tweeted starting with a period…
  30. ALL of my followers can understand just how much Vince pisses me off.
  31. So clearly this is a really important mechanic.
  32. And to be honest, I am shocked that Twitter hasn’t done a better job explaining it to new users.
  33. If I ran things, here is what I would do.
  34. The first time you used the @ message, this would appear:
  35. Pretty cool right?
  36. Hey one last thing.
  37. I’m actually not all about people using this mechanic all the time.
  38. I would prefer that you just change the content up a little.
  39. Just find a different way to structure the sentence. ! The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
  40. It looks and feels a lot more natural.
  41. But if you absolutely have to start a tweet with someone’s handle.
  42. Now you know what to do.
  43. ;)

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