Vivian Schiller, Twitter’s Head of News, unleashed some information that elaborated on some previous hints that CEO Dick Costolo had made about some changes to how we interact with one another on the site. Signs are pointing to Twitter removing the @ and #– replies and hashtags.
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) March 17, 2014
These fundamental elements are the building blocks of Twitter, and Twitter doesn’t appear to want to use that functionality anytime soon. When Facebook finally took a cue from Twitter to utilize tags and hashtags within posts, it appears Twitter wants to make theirs simpler just like Facebook.
What’s more, it appears that the alpha version of Twitter for Android shows that Twitter has been actively experimenting with this change.
Tomos Evans, Director of Social Media at Ayzenberg Group feels Twitter is under pressure.
“The potential removal of the @ reply is surely a response to the increasingly stagnant growth of Twitter. To compete (and now to answer underwhelmed shareholders) there’s a logic to Twitter’s desire to simplify its unique language. The change would appear to be purely ‘grammatical’ but foreign grammar puts many learners off a new language, and I’m sure Twitter hopes any simplification will draw new users to the platform,” said Evans.
When it came to what this move could mean to marketers, Evans was positive. “For brands and brand managers, the removal of something which intimidates consumers should be seen as an opportunity to foster growth and engagement.”