I'm happy to announce a minor change to the API that should have a
major impact on the Twitter community. The /statuses/update method
now takes an optional parameter: in_reply_to_status_id. As you might
guess, this allows API clients to specify which status a status to be
posted is in reply to, rather than our system assuming that it's in
reply to the last message posted by the user specified by "@username".
If your client posts statuses, please consider making use of this
feature. By convention, we'd like to continue to use "@username" at
the beginning of messages that are replies, but specifying the
in_reply_to_status_id parameter will override the guess about the
in_reply_to_status_id attribute that our system makes. Yes, this does
mean that you could post a message that appears to be a reply to Alice
while it's actually a reply to Bob; that's fine, as I'm sure there's a
use case for it out there.
We hope this addition will allow for more accurate conversations on
Twitter. I can't wait to see what you all do with it!
Took the word right out of my mouth!
If the tweet is sent with in_reply_to_status_id set to a valid tweet ID,
but the tweet doesn't contain '@user' or something, 'in reply to user'
is still displayed on the Twitter user's profile.
If I didn't explain that right, please tell me - I'll try again :P
Richard wrote: "Have you considered supporting a syntax like
@username.status_id ... though, I can't remember why I thought this would be
I wouldn't use it in an app because it would use up valuable space.
However, it would still be a useful addition because it would then allow you
to reply to a specific status from the web, SMS, etc.
Alex Payne - API Lead, Twitter, Inc.