The micro blogging site twitter, to say Goodbye to '.@', removing the need for a popular, improvised equivalent of a stage whisper. The changes are the latest iteration of the attempts to make itself more appealing to new users.
Twitter doesn't display every tweet of yours to all your followers. Anything that begins with an "@" is treated like a reply, and has a pretty limited reach. Now followers would be able to see tweets without .@ too.
The company clearly believes that it needs to change some things to attract and keep new users, but doesn't seem inclined to change anything so radically that it would upset loyalists enough for them to leave.
For instance, a few months ago, it changed its "favorite" button - a way to interact with a tweet without actually writing a reply - to the more universally understood "like" button. When "fav" became "like" last year, many hard-core users freaked out a bit, before adjusting to the fact that one of the site's buttons had changed from a star to a heart and it was fine.
While incremental, the newest round of changes - rolling out in the coming months, Twitter says - will eliminate some of the creative workarounds Twitter's users have developed to get the most out of the 140-character limited platform.
In other words, tweets will be longer, but not in the way that everyone feared. "You can already do a lot in a Tweet, but we want you to be able to do even more," Twitter's announcement reads. A couple of tweaks to what "counts" towards Twitter's short character limit will expand the length of tweets without going too crazy.