Caitlin Gallagher
October 31, 2016 3:33 pm
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While having more characters in your Twitter replies sounds like it could only be a good thing, turns out that’s not the case. The social media site is testing a new change, which just so happens to be removing people’s Twitter handles from replies. It’s intended to streamline conversations and help reduce character counts to make the most of your tweet’s 140-character limit.

Yet, the response from test users has been negative for a number of reasons, including the simple fact that no @username in replies is confusing AF.

Even reading about the change without experiencing it firsthand (like test users have done) is mind-boggling. So we can’t imagine what it’s like for Twitter users who actually are seeing this change being implemented on their feed.

The editor-in-chief at TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino outlined the flaws of this Twitter update, which includes this: You can’t see who you are replying to anymore.

What’s baffling users perhaps more than the general usability issue is that it might actually make avoiding Internet trolls — something that Twitter is infamous for having —  more difficult.

Tressie McMillan Cottom even wrote how the potential update makes it harder for her to avoid replying to troll bait:

Other users shared McMillan Cottom’s sentiments and are annoyed that Twitter is making updates to replies rather than focusing on helping to deter and block trolls.

While it’s not shocking that users are dissatisfied with something that appears to make reading replies more convoluted, it’s essential to remember that implementing a change on a massive social media platform is not for the faint of heart — especially on a site with such passionate users.

As the removal of @s in replies is just in testing right now, here’s hoping Twitter will reply (*ahem*) to users’ concerns and create a solution most people will feel comfortable using.

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