NOTE: You also use this technique to hide conversations with people. Scroll to the end for how.
When you are tweeting a lot in a short time, your tweets start to drown out what other people are saying in your followers timelines.
This is why someone people don’t like Twitter #hashtag chats: when some of their followers start chatting, their chat tweets block you from seeing what other people are tweeting.
So when having a Twitter #hashtag chat, if you want to avoid overwhelming your followers, start any tweet you want to “hide” with @HideChat or (one character shorter) @HideTag. (Do NOT follow @HideChat or @HideTag. They exist only to help you hide your Twitter chats.)
NOTE: This also works when live-tweeting events or shows.
You don’t need to do this with all your chat tweets (though you could). But it’s a good idea to do it with most of them so as not to overwhelm folks. You could also use this for conversations with someone that you didn’t want others to notice in your timeline, although direct messages would work best for that.
Of course, if you put someone’s username in a tweet, it will go to them (unless they have blocked you).
Why this works
If you “address” a tweet (called “sending an @reply”) to someone that none of your followers also follows, none of them will see it in their timeline. (For more on why Twitter works this way, click here.)
Also: If you want to retweet something that starts with @HideChat or @HideTag, best to edit the tweet to remove it; it adds no value to the information.
How to view all tweets
Some interfaces let you see all tweets, regardless of how they are addressed. If you just want to see all the tweets people you follow are hiding from you, follow @HideChat and @HideTag (and unfollow later). So if someone says this “doesn’t work,” it is because they are using an interface or browser plugin that lets them see all tweets.
How to hide conversations
Twitter won’t show your tweets to someone who follows you when you are tweeting with someone they don’t follow.
But what do you do when you’re tweeting with someone they do follow, and you don’t want it showing up in their timeline? Probably the best solution is to switch your conversation to DM. But that only work if the person you’re tweeting with follows you.
If you want to “tweet chat” with someone, and you don’t want people who follow you both to see them, just start the tweet with @HideTag!