Over the last few weeks, rumors have circulated around the possibility that Twitter would be phasing out the popular @mention and #hashtag features (On Mashable: “Is Twitter Getting Rid of @-Replies and Hashtags?” – On The Guardian: ”Twitter could ditch @ replies and hashtags”).

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, explained the rationale behind this move in a recent earnings call:

“By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find this service as indispensable as our existing core users do. And we took initial steps in that direction with the introduction of media forward timelines and in-line social actions in October, and we’re already starting to see early signs that those initiatives are working well.” (source: The Guardian)

Even so, it was quite a shock today when the @mention and #hashtag features were removed not only from Twitter, but simultaneously from the entire internet. Users of Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest all awoke to no more #selfies or @justinbieber.

As keyword monitoring from technologies like mention become even more popular, there’s just no longer any use in monitoring names or subjects like this anymore. The @mention and #hashtag features just don’t make any sense when you can track any word or phrase across the entire web, with or without symbols before them.

This change takes place right away, as you can see in the following tweet:

This will also remove all the hassle of people you don’t even know mentioning you all day long, hashing your day with annoying notification interruptions. As one mention user put it:

“I was being hashtaged and @-mentioned all the time by spammers, man. But now, using mention’s anti-noise tech, I can focus on reacting only to the mentions that matter — the ones about my latest tattoos” — Justin B.

Let’s see what a world without @mentions and #hashtags will look like.

Clément Delangue is the chief marketing officer of Mention, an application that lets you know what people are saying about you, your company or your competitors online. Before joining mention, he worked for eBay after being one of the first French professional sellers at age 17. He also co-founded several startups, including UniShared and VideoNot.es.

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