Mention (blogging)

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A mention (also known as @replies or tagging) is a means by which a blog post references or links to a user's profile. This may be done as a matter of getting the attention of (or drawing attention to) another user of a social networking or blogging service, as a matter of replying to the other user's post, or as a matter of "tagging" a user in a post (i.e., to say that "Jay Thompson was here").

Styles and history[edit]

@ (at sign)[edit]

The rise to prominence of Twitter from its launch in 2006 gave rise to using the at sign ("@") as a description for directing a public post to a particular user, especially for the purpose of replying to another user's post (i.e., "@janedoe"). Only after the usage of @ as a visual means of directing posts to specific users gained currency among Twitter users did Twitter developers begin to integrate the @ sign as a fundamental conversational tool on the site.[citation needed]

Initially, @ was used by Twitter users occasionally as shorthand for other words, such as location or time. The first person to use @ as a description of directing a post at another user was Robert S. Andersen ("rsa") on 2 November 2006;[1][self-published source] initially, this usage made use of a space between the @ and the name, followed by a colon and the main content.[citation needed]

The first to propose a general syntax for directly addressing users in posts were Ben Darlow[2] and Neil Crosby,[3][original research?] and by January 2007, more Twitter users began to take notice of the practice with various degrees of acceptance;[4][self-published source] within the year, the convention trended toward combining the @ and a Twitter username (as opposed to a real name) and prepending the combination to the beginning of a post in order to indicate a reply. Ultimately, they became colloquially known as "@replies" for their primary usage as replies to other users' posts. Twitter added support for "@replies" beginning in May 2008,[5][non-primary source needed] with any combination of @ with a username being turned into a hyperlink to the profile. On March 30, 2009, Twitter updated the feature and renamed it "Mentions" (i.e., to "mention" user "@janedoe") so as to include non-reply posts directed at individual users.[6][non-primary source needed]

Beginning September 2009, Facebook integrated the at sign as a mentioning feature; typing "@" in a post automatically initiates a drop-down autocomplete list containing names of "friends", groups and pages, which, after one being selected and the post published, links to the profile, group or page.[7]

@-replies started being used on Wikipedia around 2013.[8] YouTube started introducing @-handles in late 2022.[9]

+ (plus sign)[edit]

The plus sign ("+") was utilized on Google+ to select a user or page.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Garrett Murray (10 Jul 2012). "The Real History of the @reply on Twitter". Maniacal Rage.
  2. ^ Ben Darlow (November 23, 2006). "Twitter / kapowaz: wondering if there should be ..." Twitter.
  3. ^ Neil Crosby (November 23, 2006). "Twitter / NeilCrosby: @kapowaz: probably". Twitter.
  4. ^ Anarchogeek (July 9, 2012). "Origin of the @reply – Digging through twitter's history". Anarchogeek. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Evan Williams (May 12, 2008). "How @replies work on Twitter (and how they might)". Twitter.
  6. ^ Biz Stone (March 30, 2009). "Replies Are Now Mentions". Twitter.
  7. ^ Ben Parr (September 9, 2009). "BREAKING: Facebook Introduces @Mentions in Status Updates". Mashable.
  8. ^ See Template:Reply to edit history.
  9. ^ How to Claim Your YouTube Handle