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Twitter Turns 8; May Drop Hashtags and @replies 96

Twitter has only just turned eight years old, but in that time it's become so pervasive that some of its conventions have spread beyond Twitter itself, and its character limit seems almost like a natural law. Now, Buzzfeed reports that some Twitter-isms may be about to change: based on screenshots of interfaces in alpha testing, it seems that hashtags and "at" replies may be on the chopping block, or (based on some updates made to the story) at least made less visible for some readers.
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Twitter Turns 8; May Drop Hashtags and @replies

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  • Natural law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2014 @11:51AM (#46557403)

    Up the character limit to 160 to harmonize with SMS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2014 @11:52AM (#46557407)

    Sure sounds like another site I heard of recently where the users got upset about people stripping away the things that made the site the site.

    • by dmbasso ( 1052166 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:01PM (#46557443)

      You forgot to say #FUCKBETA.

    • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:37PM (#46557877)

      Sure sounds like another site I heard of recently where the users got upset about people stripping away the things that made the site the site.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except in this case twitters user interface and navigation system has always been a completely shitty experience.

      Yes, popular things can have shitty interfaces and their popularity can hide that fact from the creators.
    • Agree with MrBigInThePants. As best I can tell, Twitter's interface builders are actually some chimpanzees they borrowed from the zoo.

      Like many other people, I have been using TweetDeck on the desktop for years. When it was acquired by Twitter a couple of years ago, they managed to completely mess it up.

      Now, things that one used to be able to do right in a column of TweetDeck (i.e., more or less in-line), requires 4 different interfaces that pop up. Search is another (completely superfluous) interface
      • (Disclaimer: by "thank Grid I don't have to", I mean I don't work for Twitter and never have. I would not work for them, because their development environment probably resembles their interfaces: an outrageous mess.

        The only reason I still use TweetDeck is because Twitter managed to kill off the competing products by limiting their API calls. That's called anti-competitive Bad Business.)
  • by CanEHdian ( 1098955 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @11:56AM (#46557423)
    the @userid and the trick with the . in front, combined with "hashtag" DEFINES twitter. Twitter wants to kill that off? Sure. Here comes Flit-it with @userid, hashtags, and 255 character Fleets. Flit it. Fleet it like it's 2013.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by geek ( 5680 )

      Twitter is social media for retards......

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

        You know, I used to think that. Facebook is a lot worse than Twitter when it comes to the 'tard community. Plus, you've got people with their hand out, asking to be your "friend" and I really don't like that.

        Plus, Facebook is so intrusive. Twitter is more useful because you can be anonymous and just be a listener, if you prefer.

        I'm not a big fan of the "social" aspect of social media. Now that there seems to be an all-out attack on RSS by publishers, Twitter is a very good way to follow news.

        • "I'm not a big fan of the "social" aspect of social media. Now that there seems to be an all-out attack on RSS by publishers, Twitter is a very good way to follow news."

          Twitter as an idea, and as a service, IS good. What is bad -- and what people are complaining about -- is the implementation of that idea. Twitter, the company, is just plain bad at it. Their software -- and perhaps more importantly, the interface to their software -- is downright terrible.

          I can summarize the basic problem with Twitter (the company) in few words: they try to make their users do what they want, rather than they doing what their users want. It's a practice that has never worked in the long

      • by AudioEfex ( 637163 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:44PM (#46558335)

        Just like anything, it's all in how you use it.

        Twitter is a great source of breaking information, in a nearly endless number of ways.

        Yeah, if you use it to follow folks that use it as a "microblog" to tell you what they had for lunch, just like FB, I can see your point. But if you subscribe to the right feeds, you can get some amazing content - and opportunities. I've tweeted back and forth with several of my favorite celebrities (while it may seem silly, to this gay boy exchanging tweets with Cher at 2am one late night awhile back made my year). Another time I was traveling somewhere and because I had subbed to a few local feeds I found out about - and was selected as one of the winners of - a local contest which got me in the back door of a theme park at midnight to be in the first group to ride a brand new headliner attraction over and over all night at a private party (best damn brownie sundae I ever had at the desert bar, too, LOL).

        Sure, those are not so typical (and admittedly vapid) examples, but you get the idea - the mobile friendly nature, the immediacy, and the ability to follow feeds without having to "friend" people is really great for timely information for everything from silly things like the above to people trying to stay in contact in a literal war zone.

        Just like I've leveraged FB in more ways than I can ever count for opportunities or finding (or giving) help on various projects from old friends I haven't seen in person in a decade or more, and simply to keep in touch with folks I'd never see again otherwise (I love that when I travel I can just go to FB, see who I know there, and can connect with folks in practically any city I visit, either socially or just for advice), Twitter is really great if you learn how to use it well. I come from a small town, and one of the things you learn growing up in one is who to go for and why - if I needed my car fixed, or help locating a research article, or who to ask about the best new restaurants in the area - it's really sweet when you can be a part of a local network like that because it makes life so much easier - and more enjoyable. That's what Twitter - and FB - do, they just expand them on a global scale.

        It's all in learning how to make it work to the best advantage - if all you do is follow asshats who make a tweet every time they take a shit, sure, it's garbage - but there is so much more there for the taking, and sharing, if you go at it from a different mindset.

        • by reikae ( 80981 )

          It's hard and really annoying to read conversations on Twitter. And the character limit means that people have to break their messages into several tweets, which again makes following the conversation harder.

        • by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @07:16PM (#46559969)
          A bold statement.
        • Woah there... your hearing aid battery must be going out.

        • While you are one of the rare twitter enthusiasts that can actually give examples of how twitter has been useful (most say it is useful, but can never think of an example), I think you are leaving out the endless hours you spent sorting through all the garbage to find something worth talking about. . What the creators of Twitter are trying to resolve is a problem that is inherent to the service, it is a huge time investment for very little return. The issue isn't learning how to use the service; the twitter

      • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

        Twitter is social media for retards......

        yes its lucky that slashdot is retard free .......

    • i dont know about everyone else, but I welcome the end of the hashtag. I cant stand reading news on other pages and people use twitspeak. There is no need for it, it makes it difficult to try and read. I think twitspeak is borderline the most annoying speech out there today
      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        How much do you want to bet that the twits will just keep on hash tagging everything?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Look into IRC some day and you will see "twitter" implemented right (and they did use those @ and # chars long before twitter perverted their usage ;-)

    • by jddj ( 1085169 )

      I _wish_ this would work, but tried so very hard, and put together a nice service - everything you could want, and it's made very little headway.

      The real issue is this: Twitter has your friends. You can walk away from a service, but switching services means you're walking away from your friends, and most won't do that.

      Twitter is sucking more and more, and will probably lose me at some point. But realistically, not yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:01PM (#46557449)
    There's no way to disable Twitter pictures in your feed, searches or @history.

    The most common use of a Twitpic is to post a meme. And if that isn't bad enough, the second most common use of Twitpic is to post a shock picture. It is unacceptable that we can't have them disabled in the options.
  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:05PM (#46557463)

    Slashdot might be removing comments. Or at least replacing threaded discussions with flat 255-character one-liner responses, with no HTML markup features.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:24PM (#46557551) Homepage

    Twitter turns 8; seeks free advertising

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdot is gullible trash since Dice bought it, gives twitter free advertising.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Twitter needs to be advertised?

  • Profit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phallstrom ( 69697 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:41PM (#46557607)

    1. Build Twitter with features people love.
    2. Remove said features infuriating the masses.
    3. Re-introduce said features as a premium feature.
    4. Profit?

    Nothing else seems to be working for them...

    • 2. Remove said features infuriating the masses.

      I still believe that the old Twitter way of showing your replies to other people in your feed by default was much, much more organic and useful and at the time most people seemed to agree. The .@ thing is a hack to get around that stupid change.

      But ... I was complaining about this when Twitter ran on Fail Whale, errr, I mean Ruby and now it's tremendously successful so at least some of their success is not dependent on what they users say they want.

      Were we wro

  • Buzzfeed? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rebelwarlock ( 1319465 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:54PM (#46557691)
    I almost clicked on the link, but then I saw it was buzzfeed. You can safely assume the whole "story" is clickbait nonsense.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Buzzfeed is in my hosts file, so I don't need to worry about clicking on anything!

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:21PM (#46557787)
    Remove two essential elements of how people use their product, wait for the uproar, then return them back to much fanfare.
  • How could they eliminate hashtags, other than not allowing non alphanumeric characters? What's going to stop someone from putting a "#" in front of a word or phrase?

    They'd have to make their search engine ignore the hash mark, which is just dumb.

  • I dont use twitter so i could be wrong, but if you remove one of their key foundations, what is left?

  • by labnet ( 457441 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @04:26PM (#46558955)

    I still don't get twitter. []
    Now get off my lawn.

  • Why not just shutdown the site? I would hurt less, and the results will be exactly the same.

  • MH370 is still missing; events eerily similar to the lead-up of a World War are occurring in Crimea; conflict and strife still continues in Syria -- but I'm sure this will be the top front page news today. #handzovmahtwitter
    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      It is annoying that Twitter gets the prominence it does, but it is a medium especially well suited to journalists and media types.
  • When I first heard about this I wondered how or what they replace them with, but really don't care much ether way.

  • The Modern UI app snap feature is really nice for snapping the Twitter client to the side of your desktop.
  • I hope it doesn't end up like the stupid Facebook autocomplete, where typing "the danger of misleading completions" has you undoing:

    The Daniel Waternam
    The danger of Missie Marks
    The the danger of misleading Commie Pinko
  • #NewCoke
  • I actually got banned for a day for "over-replying", not to one person mind you, but just in general. Replying to peoples tweets is apparently disruptive, funny as I thought it was the point and that I was participating.

    It's a social networking site that doesn't encourage social behavior, unless it pleases, and puffs-up the poster.

    The site is ridiculous as anything but a corporate announcement site -- and this is why it's going to ultimately fail. My guess is that it will be dominated by "news" and product

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"