Twitter Syntax

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There is now an Official Twitter Commands page. Originally retrieved from the Twitter Lingo page, Friends and Followers.

Send these commands to the appropriate number (below) and interact with Twitter on your mobile phone, via Gtalk (IM twitter at or the web.

Following changes at Twitter this page may need to be updated.


Twitter Canada: 21212
Twitter UK: +44 7624 801423
Twitter USA: 40404
Twitter International: +44 7624 801423



  • @username + message: directs a twitter at another person, and causes your twitter to save in their "replies" tab. Aka "at replies" or "@replies". Note that since @-reply handling change in (May?) 2009 (citation to Twitter blog post needed), messages starting with @username passed along only to your followers who also follow @username.
    • .@username + message: similar but the "." prefix is used to force/trick Twitter to have the message show up in the person's "replies" tab as well as be sent to all of your followers. Work around for the @-reply change mentioned above.
  • d username + message: sends a person a private message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
    • dm username + message also works. Side effect, you can't start a tweet with "d " or "dm "[1]

Friends and Followers

  • invite phone number: 415-555-1212 john sends a text invite to john
  • accept: this command will accept a friend invitation. Example: Accept Jade. NOTE: when you accept, you must type in the name exactly as it was sent to you in order for Twitter to recognize it properly.
  • deny: this command will deny a friend invitation.
  • delete: for now, deleting friends must be done from the web.
  • fav username: marks a person's last twitter as a favorite
  • get username: gets this person's last update
  • on or start or wake: enables twitter phone updates
    • on username: turns on notifications for a specific person on your device. For example, ON alissa.
  • off or stop or sleep: disables twitter phone updates
    • off username:turns off notifications for a specific person on your device. For example, OFF blaine.
  • follow all: turns on phone updates (entire friends list)
    • follow username: you will get phone updates from this person (requires initial approval)
      • shortcut: F
  • leave all: turns off phone updates (entire friends list)
    • leave username: disables phone updates from this person
      • shortcut: L
  • nudge username: encourages this person to update
  • whois username: text WHOIS BIZ to 40404 you will get the info Biz has filled out in his settings

Finding Out Stuff

  • followers: find out who is following your updates (no longer supported)
  • stats: find out how many people are following you, and how many friends you have
  • help: sends back a list of twitter lingo commands

To update your own Twitter timeline, just text whatever is on your mind to the Twitter number: 40404, or use +447781488126 if you are outside the US.


  • track word: get notifications via SMS or IM when a word is mentioned. type again to turn off.
  • untrack word: stops tracking a word
  • untrack all: stops tracking all words
  • track off: stops tracking all words
  • tracks: returns a list of words you're tracking

hash tags

Hashtags (aka "#tags") allow tagging of Twitter posts. For example, post "I love #microformats a lot" to Twitter and the post is tagged "microformats".


group accounts

Groups of multiple people may share a single Twitter account to represent their organization.

  • Attribution: Ending a message with ^XX, indicates the author of a message on a group account. The XX initials correspond to one of the staff representing the group. (This convention popularized by CoTweet, adopted by microformateers. e.g. [2], [3])

See also