This may not be a good news for Twitter lovers. The 140 character platform is experimenting with a new version of its Android app that removes @ replies entirely. There could be a great possibility that Twitter might phase out the very popular @ symbol from Twitter completely.
Earlier report by BuzzFeed states that Vivian Schiller, head of news at Twitter, gave a hint of this development while addressing a crowd recently at the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver. During her talk, Schiller called at-replies and hashtags “arcane” and hinted that Twitter might soon move them into the background of the service.
The message from Schiller echoes similar sentiments of CEO, Dick Costolo who earlier stated that,
“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.”
Meanwhile changes are already taking place, Twitter is already phasing out at-replies in its Android alpha test group app. The below screen shot reflects the change where conversation is happening without the @ symbol, something similar that we see in Facebook and Google Plus.
This isn’t the first time when Twitter is getting rid of with old features when the product was more community driven. We saw the same happening with RT or manual retweet on the platform. While age old Twitter lovers might find it offending, the platform is simplifying itself to attract more growth. Twitter has been in the news for its slow growth and tumbling stocks, these features might get more people on board.
The idea is to make Twitter more and more intuitive as Schiller says in her Tweet:
— Vivian Schiller (@vivian) March 19, 2014