How does Twitter work?

I have had a Twitter account since 2008, but I haven’t used it much until recently. Lately I have been following a lot of journalists and other newsmakers and have found it a good way to stay up on breaking news that will hit the headlines later in the day, or to get backstories that often aren’t included in the big news headlines.

Anyway, my question is, when I reply to someone else’s tweet, what determines who else will see it? At first I thought it went into the thread of the tweet I was replying to, and everyone viewing that thread would see it, but based on the number of views my replies are getting, I don’t think that is the case. Sometimes I will post a snarky reply to one of Trump’s tweets, which are getting thousands of replies, likes and retweets. Most of the time my reply may only get 30-40 views; other times it gets hundreds or (rarely) thousands.

If I scroll through all the replies to one of Trump’s tweets, is that counted as a “view” of each tweet I see? Or do I have to click on the reply for it to be counted as a view? And what is a “detail expand”?

Also, I only have a handful of followers, yet when I post an original tweet, it will get dozens of views. How did these people view my tweet if they are not following me?

So many questions!

If your account is public (the default setting) everyone can see your tweet. If it’s a reply to someone it may just take an extra click for people to view.

I have never bothered to check how many people are viewing a tweet.

According to Twitter’s recent announcement, if a lot of people have blocked you, then your tweets will only be visible if someone specifically visits your feed. Doesn’t sound like that applies to you, though.

I haven’t gotten any notices that I have been blocked.

One time, I replied with a simple and not so original “Thanks Obama” and it got 2,200 views, while most other replies get 30-40 views. Curiouser.


Tweet metrics are broken down into:

Impressions: Views
Engagements: Clicks (expanding)/Likes/RT’s/Profile Views/hashtag clicks/Replies

You get an impression every time your tweet is displayed on a screen. How many times it is displayed depends upon a number of factors, but engagement plays a key role - the more people who like/RT/click your tweet/profile pic, the higher up on the thread feed it will appear. (White check marks get priority as well).

If your followers engage with your tweets - liking them, for example - that engagement will display in your followers feed, so people reading your follower will impress upon your tweet. This may be how your original content gains more views than you expect.

Timing matters! You jump four hours into a Trump tweet and you’re just shouting into the wind. If you’re the 2nd person to respond (that ain’t gonna happen because of all the bots but still, for the example’s sake, let’s say you’re reply #2), the odds of you getting a much higher engagement are vastly increased.

Your followers will see it on their feed*, Trump will see it (if he scrolls down far enough), and anybody else reading the tweet thread will see your tweet if they, too, scroll down far enough. In addition, if it gets retweeted or liked, the followers of those who RT’d/Liked your tweet will now see it when they log on to Twitter and read what their feed is sending them.

Yes, that is counted as a view for each tweet you see. Clicking on the reply is both an “impression” (see above) and is also “detail expanding” (where you see the entire tweet full screen).

For example:

Look below my tweet - there’s a “Darla Jackson” who responded. You just “impressed” (gave a view) to DJ’s tweet. If you click on it, you get this - the “detail expansion”, which gives you the details to DJ’s tweet, including time and place, as well as device information:

For Darla, you just “engaged” with her tweet.

Anyway, hope this helps! I average about 500-700k impressions on my feed every month, which is OK, I guess - a couple of times I had it go past 1 million - but I wonder how it ranks with other people with a mere 1,000 followers.

*Depending upon settings, as so much of this is.
… and, fuuuudge. Just noticed this thread is 1.5 years old. Just going to post it anyway - content is king, dammit!

I learned something about Twitter, anyways. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Just curious, how did you happen to pull up a thread from 2018?


I was looking for a thread with Twitter in the title, opened a few of the promising ones in different tabs, and, getting distracted, came back to this one and decided to answer it. And when I typed it all up, I realized “shit, it’s an old thread.”

But, what the hell, right? It wasn’t that old.

In my view a tweet is a human expression/statement and carries full legal weight if the tweet deliberately encourages, instructs, implies.,., to do,.,.,., an unlawful act.,.,., that tweeter is liable for the actions taken; i.e. as “an accomplice”.

Under the English common law, an accomplice is a person who actively participates in the commission of a crime , even if they take no part in the actual criminal offense .

as I see it Trump falls under that definition of this crime.

Oh wait, twitter, not tweet
my mistake