Twitter Tip: Why Are There Periods Before a Tweet

Perhaps you have seen a tweet begin with a period and thought it was simply a slip of the finger that was not caught on Twitter.

Maybe you’ve asked, “Why do people place a period at the beginning of a tweet? Does it change who sees the content?”


Well that little dot, or other intentionally placed character, in front of a tweet play a very important role in Twitter town.  Let me explain.

If I want to send a PRIVATE message to someone on Twitter, I simply hit the DIRECT MESSAGE icon (They have to be following you in order to send a DM to them).

Who sees a message I send to someone on Twitter

But when I reply to someone or send a message to someone in my public Twitter stream, who sees that message depends on how the message is set up.  Example:

Jana has these folks following her:

  • Jeff
  • Carol
  • Mary
  • Ernie
  • Bert

I have these folks following me:

  • Kathleen
  • Mark
  • Ernie 
  • Bert
  • Tommy

If I want to reply to my friend Jana Axline and don’t mind if others see the message I could simply reply:

why is there a period in front of some tweets

The only people who will see this tweet in their Twitter stream are those who are following BOTH me AND Jana, so only Ernie and Bert see that reply.  Of course anyone who goes to my Twitter profile directly and clicks on TWEETS AND REPLIES will find it there, but it will not be in my main Twitter stream.

See tweets and replies; Twitter Tips

If I start a tweet with “RT” or a word or even a period, it moves it from the TWEETS and REPLIES into my main TWEETS and Kathleen, Mark, Tommy, Mary, Carol, Jeff AND Ernie and Bert will all see that message in their stream when they log in.

Letters RT or a period in the front of a tweet; Twitter Tips


Twitter Tips; how to make sure more people see your tweets


Want even more Twitter Tips for your business?  Check out our helpful Twitter guidebook here:

How to build business with Twitter


Tired of periods, RTs and trying to figure it all out?  Give us a shout, we can help.