Period before a mention on Twitter?
No, it’s not a typo. Placing a period before a mention on Twitter is a deliberate action. The following is more information than you might ever need to know about leading a tweet with a mention, but hey, knowledge is power. Right?
Why should I place a period before a mention?
When you lead a tweet with a mention (using the “@” symbol), you are having a semi-private conversation. The only way that your tweet will come across in your followers’ stream is if they are following both you and the person that your mention is directed toward. The code for Twitter makes it this way. If a tweet is led with “@” you are going to have far fewer people reading your tweets. The “.@” forgoes this operation and makes it a normal tweet, so that all of your followers can see your mention. It doesn’t really matter which character you use…I’ve seen apostrophes and letters of the alphabet before, but using a period before a mention seems to be the most ubiquitous method.
When do I need to use a period before a mention?
The only time you need to concern yourself with using a period before a mention is if your tweet starts off with a mention. The most common occurrence of needing to start a tweet with a mention is when you are replying to someone else’s tweet; at that point it’s up to you whether you want a semi-private conversation or a public discourse. Another common use of a mention without a period is when you are thanking someone for following you. Not everyone needs to see that. If you want your mention public to all your followers, then use a period before the mention. Simple right?
Have any questions about using a period before a mention? Ask away, or tweet me with @copperfoxsays, just remember to use a period if you are leading off with a mention.
Contributed by Steve Martin