Twitter testing ways to hide @replies and hashtags

Twitter occassionally tests new ways to streamline its service; some features make the cut, while others are destined never to see a public release. Buzzfeed reports that in its latest experiment, the company has begun changing how it delivers the humble @reply, in some cases hiding usernames from users' timelines completely. The change, which is currently limited to beta versions of the official app, drops physical mentions in favor of grouped conversations, relying on that little blue/grey line to make engagement more intuitive. Like it did with native retweets, Twitter is looking into whether it can cut manual operators like hashtags and introduce more visual cues, which help new users understand how the service works (and it really needs new users). The latest experiment is likely to confuse existing tweeters, however, so Twitter will have its work cut out if it wants to please everyone.

[Image credit: ari, Flickr]