Twitter is an excellent way to communicate with anyone in the world, but sometimes you want to keep a discussion out of the public eye. Involved parties must follow each other in order for private talks to remain unseen by others.

Sending Direct Messages

Direct messages are only seen by you and the person you’re messaging. They aren’t listed in your public timeline. The recipient must follow you on Twitter in order to receive a direct message. Click on the envelope icon along the top of the screen. This brings up the Direct Messages box. Click on “New message,” type in the name of the other person in the top dialog box, and enter your message in the bottom dialog box. Click “Send message” and the conversation begins.

Protecting Your Tweets

If you’re only using Twitter for private talks, protect your tweets so only those you approve can see your updates. Unless the other people also protect their tweets, the replies will be seen in their public timelines. Click on the gear icon at the top of the screen. This opens your account settings. Select “Security and privacy” from the menu, scroll to the Privacy section and check the “Protect my Tweets” box.