Mighty Life List
May 13 2009

Workaround for @ Replies on Twitter

*Post Update: Yikes! I misunderstood the problem. Apparently (and I cringe as I attempt to grasp this) the issue is that you can no longer see conversations between people you do follow and those you don’t, but only if they begin their tweet with an @. So if you were Twittering about Tina Fey, and I don’t follow her, I wouldn’t see:

@TinaFey Let’s go for cheeseburgers.

But I would see:

Say @TinaFey, let’s go for cheeseburgers!

Is that right? Please don’t hit me.

Sooo… couldn’t we just work around this for the time being by putting a character in front of the @ sign before we talk to someone? Like so: “FU @Maggie, you can’t begin to grasp my fury.” Et voila?

My tutorial on running search terms is still below. Forgive my misguided first attempt to help, and supply your own ideas in comments. Also, you can tell me if I’m wrong again, and we’ll do this over. The less vitriol the better. Thank you.

As you may know, Twitter recently made a change to how @ replies are received. People are kind of freaking out. If you use Twitter and you still want to see @ replies from folks you don’t follow, do this:

1. Find the search box in the sidebar and type in @ plus your username. I typed in @Maggie:

2. Click on the little magnifying glass to the right of the search box.

3. Verify that your main bar now shows search results on the @replies for that user name:

4. On the top right of the main bar, you’ll see a little green button next to the words “Save this search.” Click there. Here’s a detail view:

5. Look in the right sidebar again. Under the search box, you should see a subtitle “Saved Searches” and a clickable link to searches on the user name you’ve selected. Click on the user name you’ve saved whenever you want to see @replies from everyone, even folks you don’t follow.

For now, I hope that helps. I know it doesn’t address every issue, but it’s an easy workaround for now.

22 Responses to “Workaround for @ Replies on Twitter”

  • Annika Says:

    I still see @ replies to me from people I don’t follow in my @noirbettie tab. It’s @replies from the people you follow to people you don’t follow that seem to be gone now. Which doesn’t bother me, since I already filtered them out, but I do think it’s pretty lame to not give people the option.

  • xian Says:

    So wait, you now don’t see @replies to you from people you don’t follow? That was, until last time I checked, an option you could switch on or off.

    Is this part of the same change where you now do not see @replies to people you don’t follow from people you do follow?

    I’m getting confused.

  • Marcy Says:

    That’s not actually what the problem is. Twitter shows you all the replies TO YOU from everyone (even those you don’t follow) on your twitter homepage– on the menu on the right side, under where it says “Home” is a link with “@Yourusername” Click on that and you’ll see all replies to you from anyone on twitter whether you follow them or not. It even shows any tweet that even mentions your username, whther at the beginning or middle or end (so if someone tweets “I like @Yourusername” because she’s cool” you’ll see that tweet in your replies page, too.

    This blog explains the difference in the way @Replies used to work: http://blog.twitter.com/2008/05/how-replies-work-on-twitter-and-how.html The this is the update they made: http://blog.twitter.com/2009/05/small-settings-update.html

    Hope that makes sense. Honestly I think twitter is kinda right in that this whole thing is pretty confusing. If they do bring back the option to see replies from people you follow to people you don’t follow, I hope they at least clear up the language so everyone knows what the deal is.

  • kimberly Says:

    Unfortunately that only works if you actually read twitter at twitter.com. For those of us that use other tools, this change is extremely problematic. I still don’t understand why they don’t have it as an option to turn on or off.

  • Bertha Says:

    I don’t think this was the complaint, at least not from my friends. My friends are complaining that they can’t see @replies to people they don’t follow from people they do follow. So if I follow you, and you @reply to dooce, and I don’t follow dooce, I won’t see that reply.

  • Liz Says:

    It’s not for @replies to you from people you don’t follow. The new change is: you will no longer see @replies to people you don’t follow, from people you do follow.

    For example: if I said ‘@maggie hey that was a great post you did today!’ anyone that follows me but does not follow you won’t see it at all. Unless I were to phrase that as a “mention”. ‘Looking at a great new blog post by @maggie. Everyone should check it out’ Then my followers, who don’t follow you, will still see it. Because it’s a mention and not a reply.

    This whole thing is annoying.

  • John Cachero Says:

    Sorry to jump on this, and I know you’re trying to help… BUT you’re not even addressing the problem. You still SEE @’s TO you; you DON’T SEE @’s FROM friends TO people you don’t follow.

    Reading convos FROM people I follow (trust) TO people I don’t know is how I primarily find new INTERESTING people to follow.

    Plus, who still uses the website instead of a Twitter client?

  • Christina Says:

    More people are making a stink about change than really thinking about its implications for them. Most people didn’t even enable the feature that allowed them to see what person X says to person Y if they don’t know who person Y is. Annika gets it–the only thing missing now is what your friends say to people you don’t care enough about to follow in the first place. The real “fix” for this issue would be to run *advance* searches through search.twitter.com, putting the usernames of all the people you follow in the “From” field. This will allow you to see what everyone you follow is saying to everyone THEY follow, which is why people say it helps to do that if you’re looking to find your crowd. I’m pretty sure that anyone who wants to, follower or not, can send you @ messages. Searching your own username doesn’t accomplish anything that Twitter doesn’t already do for you.

  • Nancy Says:

    Actually, I think we should all just get over the fact that people might be talking (tweeting) behind your back, and you may never know what they are saying. Hmmm. I think therapists are PAID to teach people to mentally turn OFF the #fixreply.

    Seriously. Let’s get over ourselves.

  • Pam Says:

    I’m not sure but I don’t think this solves the issue. This would only give you your own @ replies to you (or whoever you type into the box & save the search) Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the furor is over the fact that say I follow you @Maggie and you @ your friend @DorisDay to tell her something but I don’t follow Doris… I wouldn’t see your @ to her if you start your message @DorisDay here’s some great info. I would if you say Here’s some great info @DorisDay. So I don’t think your work around fixes what people would like for it to fix. (unless I’m off the mark- which may be). This is the way some of us find new people by “overhearing” conversations that way and then following those people.

  • Emily Says:

    I don’t get this. Isn’t that what the link already in your sidebar which says @Maggie for??

    Why do you need to add that again?

  • Emily Says:

    “IS for” I meant to say.

  • Christina Says:

    Nancy, considering that nothing has changed with regard to the tweets “behind your back,” the fact that people are responding to this problem as though it has everything to do with them (rather than everything to do with the people they FOLLOW) reflects a dire need to get over ourselves, indeed. Newsflash: It’s not about @you. It was an option that so few people were actually using that the powers that be saw little issue with taking it away.

  • katie Says:

    I feel kind of dumb for asking this, but hasn’t it always been this way? It has been for me, at least (for the past couple of years). Only @replies to people you are following will show up on your main page…but if you want to see any @’s they may be making to people you don’t follow, you can see them directly on their individual pages.

    I’m not sure how this is any different than it’s always been?

  • vague Says:

    Your workaround does in fact work, but there’s one thing people may want to consider before they do it: by deliberately adding characters before the “@”, you are essentially forcing everyone who follows you to see those @ replies in their feed. Many people may have already chosen not to see @ replies to people they don’t follow, and you’d essentially be spamming their feeds with things they didn’t want to see.

  • Helen Jane Says:

    I think this is why ladies like me avoid jumping into technology conversations, even when we might have something useful to add.
    (Regardless, I appreciated the tip.)

  • Heather-in-Australia Says:

    If you get any more vitriol, just re-tile your bathroom & post the pics. That oughta throw them off the track ;) :).

  • Liesel Says:

    Am I the only person on the planet who does not do the whole tweet thing?

  • Allison Says:

    All you have to do is put a space right before the @reply, and then everyone can see it. No need for a character or text.

  • Jenne Says:

    Hm, this actually sounds awesome!! I HATE seeing people’s replies to people I don’t know–it’s like listening to one of those annoying loud cell phone people having half a conversation.

  • sparklytosingle Says:

    I must be missing something, because I still don’t get what people are so upset about. Why would anyone want to see half-conversations between people you do and don’t follow? I think it’s a positive change.

  • norm Says:

    Whoa, you have 16K followers? It must be difficult for you to walk down the street privately, @Maggie.