Replies Are Now Mentions

By Biz Stone
Tuesday, 31 March 2009

We’re updating the Replies feature and referring to it instead as Mentions. In your Twitter sidebar you’ll now see your own @username tab. When you click that tab, you’ll see a list of all tweets referencing your account with the @username convention anywhere in the tweet—instead of only at the beginning which is how it used to work. So for me it would be all mentions of @biz. For developers, this update will also be included in the APIs.

Replies Are Now MentionsWhy The Update?

The @Replies feature was introduced because we noticed lots of folks putting the @ symbol in front of Twitter usernames as a way of addressing one another. For example: @biz what are you drinking in your avatar? (It’s a soy latte.) So, we started linking the @username references and collecting any tweets that began with @username on one page to make them easier to track.

However, folks started getting more inventive as they often do. Now people include @username mentions in the middle of tweets as a way to simply reference another account. For example: I’m flying @jetblue to Boston. Also, folks reference multiple accounts in a single tweet like this: I’m flying @jetblue to Boston with @ev @crystal and @goldman.

Today’s update better reflects how folks are using Twitter now.