smarter twitter autocomplete

I’m really excited to write this post today! It’s the feature I’m most excited about, and I hope that it’ll be equally helpful for you to start using it! If you’re anything like me, I’ve had this one on my Buffer wishlist for a long time.

Since at Buffer we want to focus the most on helping you share better on social media and saving you time by scheduling your updates, we’re really excited to announce the addition of Twitter auto-complete today. Buffer can now suggest Twitter usernames for you to add into your posts.

Let’s take a look at how to get started with this new feature and how it can be really beneficial to your social media sharing.

How to use Buffer’s new Twitter auto-complete

Using auto-complete is really easy, and it works in our web app, our browser extensions and our mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

To get started with it in the web app or our browser extension you can use to share any site you’re browsing on.

To get started, type the @ symbol in a new Buffer post. When you type a letter after this, you’ll see suggested usernames for you to choose from.

smarter twitter autocomplete

You can scroll (or swipe, on mobile) to choose from the suggestions, or type more letters to narrow down the selection. Once you select a username, you can keep typing the rest of your tweet as normal.

Tip: Make sure there are no spaces between the @ symbol and the first letter of the username.

And that’s it! Pretty easy, huh? Here’s how it looks on mobile, specifically our iPhone app:

twitter autocomplete iphone

Although it seems really simple, I wanted to take a look at three reasons why this feature will make your Buffering even Awesome-er.

How to make this the smartest auto-complete for Twitter

Although Buffer lets you share to multiple places at once, we know that each social network has a very specific kind of audience. We want to help you make the most out of your audience on each network, so we’ve made our auto-complete feature really smart.

When you type in a Twitter username for one of your posts and also send it to other networks, Buffer will automatically replace the username with that person’s real name for any other network you post it to.

smarter twitter autocomplete

Save time by adding usernames with just a few keystrokes

One of my favorite things about auto-complete is how much faster and easier it is to add usernames to my tweets now. Rather than typing out a whole username, you can just type one of two letters and Buffer will find them for you.

twitter autocomplete android

And because it works seamlessly in our iPhone and Android apps, it can save a ton of time when you’re adding to your Buffer from your phone.

Bonus tip: Let Buffer remember username for you

I’m always cautious about usernames in case I spell one wrong or forget what it is—after all, I want my tweet to go to that person, so I need to get it right! Whenever I can’t remember the Twitter username I want to use, auto-complete helps me work it out without even leaving Buffer!

This is also super handy when your friends have names that are hard to spell—no more agonizing over whether there was an extra “i” in there somewhere!

Sign up for Buffer and try out our new Twitter auto-complete!

If you have any thoughts on how to improve this further, or what other features you’d love to see in Buffer, just let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Written by Belle Beth Cooper

Belle is the first Content Crafter at Buffer and co-founder of Exist. She writes about social media, startups, lifehacking and science.

  • I was loading up my buffer this morning, and I thought, “Wow. It’s filling out my Twitter contacts for me. When did that start?”

    Thanks for making me feel like I haven’t been missing this. And thanks even more for this new feature!

    • Belle

      Glad it’s working for you already, Joey!

  • Been waiting for this. You just made my life a whole lot easier! THANKS

    • Belle

      That’s awesome to hear, Greg!

  • YES! Super excited about this update!!!

    • Belle

      Awesome, Chad! (me too!) Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • disqus_awrvlHo3fp

    What about for Facebook?

  • Always amazing how obvious something is after someone smart – like @Buffer – went ahead and did it – congratulations guys – great idea!

    • Belle

      Thanks Gary! Definitely excited about this one 🙂

  • What about a buffer app for Windows phone 8 ?

  • Great job guys! I was just wondering about this feature the other day. Yet another reason for me to stick with Buffer! Keep it up. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

    • Belle

      Awesome news, Justice!

  • Fantastic – Buffer just keeps getting better!

    • Belle

      Thanks Guy!

  • Badass tool! 🙂

    • Belle

      I think so too, Juan!

  • Nicolas Daudin


    • Belle

      Thanks Nicolas!

  • Thanks @Buffer! (hmm… didnt work in the comments 🙂 )

    • Belle

      hehe not quite, Justin! But we hope you like using it in Buffer 🙂

  • Jordi-País Valencià

    Hi there. This is a great feature. Nevertheless it also includes a little glitch for me. I usually post on FB which then sends the post to twitter. Most often than not, I include the twitter username for some individuals in the post, this new (and great, don’t get me wrong) feature transforms it into the “real name” which is not what I intended when including the twitter username as a contact link. Is there any way to disable this feature so the user can choose whether to use it or not? Or, in other words, could you consider implementing this?. Cheers

  • Peter

    Awesome work guys! Been looking forward to this one for a while

    • Belle

      Awesome, Peter! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Chelsea

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

    • Belle

      That’s exactly how I feel, Chelsea 🙂

  • Donna Reid

    Brilliant! Love Buffer!

    • Belle

      Thanks Donna! 🙂

  • Have waited for this feature. Thank you!

    • Belle

      Hope you enjoy it, Shabri!

  • raphaelhunold

    You guy rocks !

    • Belle

      Thanks Raphael!

  • Dani Meyer

    The fact that it changes @ names to the real name for Facebook is bloody brilliant! I love it!

    The actual twitter autocomplete part though is not working for me right now. It doesn’t show people who I follow as I start to type, and sometimes doesn’t drop at all. Sure you guys are working on it but thought I’d give a heads up. Using web based in Chrome.


    • LeoWid

      Hi Dani, thanks so much for the heads up on this, that’s no good, I’m looking into this right now! Keen to fix it asap.

      • Dani Meyer

        Seems I needed to clear my browser cache and cookies in order for it to work. All is well now!


        • Belle

          So glad it’s working for you now, Dani! Sorry about the confusion there. Enjoy the new feature! 🙂

  • You guys all rock. Love this feature!

    • Belle

      Thanks Mary! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • BOOM! Works seamlessly on web browser & mobile app. Great stuff. Thank you.

    Now we just need a hashtag # in the keyboard. 🙂

    • LeoWid

      Awesome, so glad it does! 🙂

  • Is it suggesting the twitter handle from the site or the author of the post? That’s been the thing I’ve been hoping for, that the Twitter handle of the page or post’s author would automatically populate. I’m looking forward to using this feature!

    • LeoWid

      Hi Brett, great to see you here and you are reading our minds! That is definitely what we were thinking next in terms of what we could do with this feature going forward, stay tuned! 🙂

  • Kit Miyamoto

    Wil be nice when you add the ability to add images to posts through buffer rather than having to make one in twitter and then use the buffer button. Looking forward to it.

  • scottshrum

    I’m using the Firefox Buffer extension, and it’s not autocompleting usernames for me. Do I need to update the extension?

  • Shaun

    Hi. Could you tell me how to get the social share column on the left hand side for a WordPress website and the counter at the bottom of the post ? Thanks.

  • Great feature. Buffer just keeps getting better and better. Love it!

    • Belle

      Thanks! We’re so glad you like it 🙂

  • using the real name in facebook instead of cross-posting the twitter handle is brilliant.

    any plans for being able to tag people on facebook in the future? (i would be a happy clam.)

    • Belle

      We would love to do that! Unfortunately Facebook’s API doesn’t allow this yet, but we’re keeping an eye out for the future!

  • Awesome! This was a major barrier for me to use Buffer comfortably, and I’m glad to hear it’s been resolved. I have a feature request along the same lines:
    When sharing only a link, is it possible to delete the actual URL text in Facebook so it appears as only an attachment on the post. This has always bugged me, and it’d be nice to have it fixed, from an aesthetic perspective!

  • Albert Freeman

    The Facebook trick is an inspired addition to this welcome feature. However, the Twitter autocomplete is only partially working for me. I am only seeing suggestions for a fraction of the accounts I would expect to see.

    Does Buffer look through *all twitter accounts I’m following*, or is it only searching *the most recent x number of accounts I followed*? I know that some Twitter tools restrict it that way to save server load.

    I’m using v2.7 of the app on an iPad, in case that helps answer the question.

  • Hillery

    I have been waiting for this update and very happy to see it. The real name change from twitter handle makes things way simple for business. I second the Facebook tagging! That would just be the bees knees. So happy with you guys I signed up for the awesome plan today. Excited to see what updates await. Thanks!

    • Belle

      That’s awesome, Hillery! We definitely want to add Facebook tagging as soon as the Facebook API allows it!

  • This is fantastic! The only reason why I’ve had to revisit Twitter mid-post on Buffer until now was to double-check username spelling and such. This is a great improvement!

    • Belle

      Awesome, John! I definitely do that too—it’s such a time saver, especially on mobile!

      • For sure! Buffer is quickly moving towards becoming my default platform for social media posting. The only main thing lacking at this point is a dashboard for reading posts, but I kind of like that Buffer has such a clear, dedicated focus.

        • This is awesome news! And John I do the exact same thing… I have had to have Twitter up with Buffer because I always want to include brand names/companies and so always have to double check. Thanks Buffer!

    • Yup same here! Thanks Buffer! Can’t wait to check this out!

  • wait do i needto update or something?? mine isn’t working 🙁

    • Belle

      Sorry about that, Brighton! Hopefully we can sort it out for you – are you using a mobile app or sharing on your computer?

      • just using my computer! browser ( and am using chrome!

    • Hester

      Me too 🙁

  • Kimberly Davis

    question….when you click on the buffer icon, the box pops open with a headline already to go, so your saying that instead of sharing to public you can share to just one or more(?) ppl?

  • jdzondo

    Works great with the Chrome extension but the Android App doesn’t seem to autocomplete. After updating the app I only get one autocomplete when I enter @ and a character

    • Melanie Cooper

      Me too.

  • Linda Reed-Enever

    Love it!!!

  • Ja Gold

    Cool! Thanks for constantly making an already amazing app even better. BTW, I only use Buffer, you’ve saved me so much time and focus when I need to post… thank you!

  • Event Commercials

    I really like the intelligent adjustment from Twitter handle to real name. Thanks for constantly improving the product!

  • It wasn’t working for me, now it work for twitter autocompletion. For facebook, I must have missed something. How do you make the relationship between a twitter @ and facebook profile or page name ? Does this translation appear in the buffer queue ? Or only once posted ?
    Or simply does it takes the twitter real name and replace the twitter user name and remove the @.

    • Event Commercials

      It works for me. I think you have to make sure it is posting with Twitter to begin to get the smart completion. In addition it probably needs to start with the right username. I’m assuming the way it works is by pulling the actual Twitter user’s name (not the handle) to post to other networks. For example, my “@” username is @evcmtv but my name on there is “Event Commercials”. Basically it would seem they are using the API to pull the First & Last name, not posting to Facebook using the @ reference to name people so they get a notification.

    • Belle

      Hi Sébastien,
      When you use a Twitter username in a post, Buffer will replace the username (@ and all) with the person’s real name for other networks and this will appear in your Buffer queue before it posts. Does that help?

  • “When you type in a Twitter username for one of your posts and also send it to other networks, Buffer will automatically replace the username with that person’s real name for any other network you post it to.”

    Brilliant. I have been sharing different versions of the same post on different platforms in order to avoid the dreaded @-reply on Facebook and G+; this makes it heaps easier.

  • iphone app development sydney

    thanks for discussing and consulting with us about amazing app even more better and creative. but what about windows phone 8? is this working for it too?

  • Adrian Fulle

    love it

  • Louis-Jean

    Hi, it seems that autocompletion only works with my twitter contacts. I’d like to have it work with people who are not yet in my contacts though! (e.g. a journalist who wrote the article I’ve just read). Thanks for the support! Appart from this, I love buffer 🙂