Twitter To Axe Key Original Features?
Social media platforms treat their user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) like underwear. They change it every day. Or at least it seems like it. This one is a doozy though. It’s huge and if it happens, hardcore Twitter fans are going to be pissed. Bet on that. It has to do with Twitter hashtags and at-replies, or “@ replies.”
Certain features that essentially helped build the social network will disappear very soon. The head of news at Twitter, Vivian Schiller spoke to the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver this week. She called at-replies and hashtags “arcane” and essentially, kinda, sorta said that Twitter might soon eliminate them both.
BuzzFeed reports that, when asked about the comments, Twitter said that Schiller was basically saying the same thing that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had said 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.”
You’ll note that Costolo doesn’t specifically say anything about hashtags and at-replies. He was likely sneakier or just more careful. Schiller on the other had more than likely let something slip. Something HUGE! She told us that the specific targets for the upgrade are the streamlining of at-replies and hashtags.
Schiller also hinted at the reasons for this upcoming change. She says Twitter needs to be reworked and provide a more streamlined look and feel in order to help new users understand how Twitter works and more importantly, how to use Twitter.
Proof: Twitter Hashtags & At-Replies Disappearance
TheNextWeb found a screenshot from the alpha version of Twitter for Android and as you can clearly see, it suggests that @ replies may be phased to match the look and feel of Facebook-like mentions.
This is just an experiment at this point but an update to the original BuzzFeed blog post says: “screenshots from an alpha test group show at-replies are indeed being phased out.”
Read the full story on here.
What do you think? A wise move for Twitter or a big mistake messing with a core founding feature?
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* Featured image from Flickr.