Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Killing @

"On its own, killing @ is a small move. Few other social media networks use @ as a way of indicating who you're talking to. But at Twitter, @ is at the core of a crucial debate within the company about how to get Twitter's user-base growing again. Some people — including CEO Dick Costolo — think the shorthand codes used on Twitter may be deterring new users from joining the site. Unless you already know what they mean, terms like @, #, RT, MT and #FF are meaningless."


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Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

@? They seriously think @ is to blame for their slowing growth? They really need to get out more. They are simply never going to be as big as Facebook (even if over a billion people eventually sign up for accounts, Twitter's time on site per user will never equal Faccebook's). The shorthand is just a symptom of the underlying problem, which is that Twitter is inescapably choppy. It's broadcast telegraphy, a bizarre hybrid of the modern and the antiquated, and although some people love it, much as some people love composing haikus or limericks or sonnets, most people find a little of it goes a long way. On top of that are the privacy issues, and although Facebook privacy leaves a lot to be desired, at least on Facebook, not just anyone can "mention" you.

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