Can a Twitter Account Be Private?
By Andrea Ruiz
By default, all of the tweets you post on your Twitter account are publicly visible to any visitors, including users who don't have Twitter accounts. However, you can enable privacy protection on your Twitter account in your Twitter settings. By allowing only the users you approve to view your tweets, you can make your account completely private.
Protecting Your Tweets
You can enable account protection via your Twitter settings. After logging in to your Twitter account, click the gear icon button on your home page and select "Settings" from the drop-down menu. Click the "Security & Privacy" tab in your settings, then locate the "Privacy" section in the main panel. Check the box next to "Protect My Tweets" and then click the "Save" button to save your changes. The change to your account is instant and all of your previously public tweets are immediately protected.
Protected Twitter Accounts
When you enable privacy protection, all of the users you follow automatically get approved to see your protected tweets. However, any users you don't currently follow must request permission to follow your tweets. When users who don't follow you visit your Twitter page, they won't see any of your tweets, and will only see a notice that your account is protected.
When a user requests to follow your protected Twitter account, you must approve the request before the user can see your protected tweets. When you log in to your Twitter account, Twitter displays a notice button announcing how many users have requested to follow your Twitter. Once you click the button, you can approve any followers by clicking the check mark icon, or you can reject the request by clicking the "X" icon.
When your tweets are protected, your followers can't retweet them onto their own timelines. Additionally, you can't send direct links to any of your tweets to any Twitter user who doesn't follow you. Users who don't have permission to see your protected tweets can still see your profile picture, follower count and the number of people you follow. However, they won't be able to see the usernames of the people you follow and who follow you. To make your Twitter account private to everyone, you must unfollow all of the users you currently follow.
Andrea Ruiz has written professionally for blogs, online entertainment magazines and television network websites for more than a decade. Ruiz has also been a web and social media developer, Internet business consultant and computer programmer since 1999, and worked for four years as a professional community manager. Ruiz holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Massachusetts, Boston.