What a Period at the Beginning of a Tweet Means

Image: Flickr, Esther Vargas

Hi there!

If you're not an avid Twitter user, you may wonder why sometimes tweets have a period in the beginning, right before a handle:

".@HCK@ is the best ever!"

This is not a grammar mistake.

Because of the period, the tweet will be sent to all of the followers the person is tweeting.

So, if I tweeted this, it would be sent to all of my followers.

However, if I tweeted without the period:

"@HCK2 is the best ever!"

This tweet would only be sent to HCK2 and anyone who follows both me and HCK2.

It would not be sent to all of my followers.

This is one of those technical rules of Twitter some individuals aren't aware of.

You can normally tell if a person isn't aware of this rule if they keep tweeting this incorrectly.

For example:

"@HCK2 is hiring! Click to see the job opportunities available here: <link>"

Since there's no period, the tweet is telling HCK2 to apply for its own jobs.

The person clearly meant to send it to their followers, but forgot or didn't know to add the period in the beginning. Rule of thumb: If you want a tweet to be available to your audience, include a period at the beginning if it starts with a handle.

Until next time,