Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Is Twitter phasing out hashtags? #SeeYouLater

Ways to Subscribe
Twitter's logo.
Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images
Twitter's logo.

You might soon say goodbye to #'s and @'s on Twitter.

#ChangeIsOnTheWay?

At a media news conference last week, Twitter's head of news Vivian Schiller dropped hints about the company's future: no more #s or @s.

According to Buzzfeed, the idea is that tossing out the site's unique grammar could make it more accessible to the general public and give it the growth spurt it needs, as adoption rates have slowed.

"There's a bit of an entrance ramp to get onto it," said KPCC digital producer Mike Roe. "When I signed up for Twitter, it took me months before I tweeted my first thing, then a long time after that before I got basically addicted to it."

Twitter could look like what Facebook looks like now. For example, on Twitter, if you want to write to someone, you use "@" plus their username, if you know it. Like

or

 
Meanwhile, on Facebook, typing @ plus their name or handle replaces that with their full name in an easier-to-read fashion.
 

(via Buzzfeed)
 
Tests of the new system are already being alpha-tested out on the devices of some Android users.
 

"Twitter sort of sees this as an opportunity to make things easier," Roe said. "They want to create something that isn't for the core users that are already there, but for new people coming on board."

But Roe said that the outcry by Twitter's core users probably won't be enough to dissuade the company from pressing ahead with this potential change.

"Someone I talked to over the weekend was worried: 'Oh, great, this means my grandmother is going to be on Twitter,'" said Roe. "Some people are worried that it's taking away the cool clubs feel of Twitter."

What's your take? Does Twitter's unique "grammar" make it harder for you to use? Or do you love it, and don't want it to change? Here's what folks on Twitter had to say when they heard the news. 

Stay Connected