Ever see a tweet that starts with a period like “.@MeredithLEaton nice blog post,” and think it’s a typo? Well, you’d be wrong. That period is actually a neat little trick to make sure ALL your followers see that tweet.
In your TweetDeck Twitter settings (go to the wrench in the top right corner of your TweetDeck to adjust your settings), there is a box that reads, “Include @replies from your friends to others.” In the image below, you’ll notice mine is unchecked.
When this box is checked, you will be able to see ALL tweets from people you follow, including ones that start as a message to someone else like “@MeredithLEaton nice blog post.” However, when this is unchecked, you will not be able to see tweets that are directed at another user and begin with an @ symbol, like the last example, unless you are also following that user.
However, by putting a period at the front of such tweets like “.@MeredithLEaton nice blog post,” you ensure that all your followers who have unchecked this box will still see your tweet since it no longer appears to be a message to a specific person.
That little period is no typo, my friends. It’s a clever way to work around your followers’ setting to hide @replies. Of course, this period does take up one more of your precious 140 characters, so you might be better off rephrasing the tweet, so the @ comes somewhere in the middle and this is no longer an issue.