Reader Question: Can you lock down updates on Twitter?

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A blue lock for George

[Photo credit: A blue lock for George by Darwin Bell, on Flickr]

E-mail lets you send a message to one person or a list of people you select. A discussion board lets you post a message to a group of members (usually). Twitter, on the other hand, lets you post a message to anybody in the world who wants to read it.

This got a participant in our recent presentation Does Twitter Matter for Nonprofits? asking:

When you broadcast, can you broadcast only to people who are following you?

It’s a great question, and one that we’re frequently asked. The short answer is yes.

Twitter explains best with this passage (which I shortened a bit. You can read the whole explanation here):

When you sign up for Twitter, you have the option of keeping your account public (the default account setting) or protecting the account to keep your updates private. Public accounts are visible to everyone. Protected accounts aren’t. Only approved followers are able to see these profile pages.

To protect your profile:

  1. Log in to Twitter
  2. Click Settings
  3. Scroll down and check the box next to “Protect my Updates”
  4. SAVE your changes.

When you navigate to your home page after protecting your profile, you’ll see a notice reminding you that your profile is now protected.

If you have a public account and you protect it, all updates after the time of protection will be protected.

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