According to an article on BuzzFeed, Twitter may soon do away with @replies and hashtags. While speaking at a conference recently, Vivian Shiller, head of news at Twitter, called @replies and hashtags “arcane” and hinted that Twitter may push them into the background. Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, made similar remarks in a recent earnings call.
By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find this service as indispensable as our existing core users do. And we took initial steps in that direction with the introduction of media forward timelines and in-line social actions in October, and we’re already starting to see early signs that those initiatives are working well.
Should these features indeed be pushed to the background it’s possible it would work similar to how Facebook handles @replies. On Facebook, @replies are auto-replaced by formal usernames. See the graphic below.
What do you think about these changes? Are they a good idea or is Twitter making a mistake? Personally, I think it’s going to improve the overall user experience and make it easier for people to use.