San Francisco, California–The microblog Twitter is apparently in the early stages of a release version that won’t include @-replies.
Vivian Schiller, the head of news at the social site, hinted at the change this week during the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference.
BuzzFeed is the first outlet to report this change, as Schiller referred to @-replies as being “arcane”. Schiller said, “We are working on moving the scaffolding of Twitter into the background.”
The change is intended to streamline the service and to allow new users to better understand how the platform works as well as its community engagement.
Twitter @-Replies Future
Though Schiller did state the feature was out-of-date, she nevertheless has downplayed its phasing out. The social media site has not ruled out the fact that significant changes are in store for the future.
When the question of @-replies could be placed in the background as are retweets, Schiller answered, “There’s a lot of creative thinking going on around how to make Twitter more and more intuitive. Watch this space.”
A screenshot of such changes have been published by BuzzFeed, which depicts @-replies are being phased out in an Android alpha test group app. The screenshot was obtained by a test group user, which clearly shows that the experimental app no longer has user handles in tweet replies, and instead, connects users with a conversation line.
Although Twitter is has more than 241 million monthly users, the company has yet to turn a profit. Recent changes to the service include custom timelines, and last year, the microblog started allowing photo and video previews.
This change could be a real help to new users, but might upset loyal ones. What do you think of this possible change? Is this a bold step in the right direction or should the social site just keep @-replies status quo?