Twitter changes @reply settings again, users protest
Twitter has now removed the option, and the new default for every user is that @replies that are both to and from someone you follow will be visible, but other @'s won't. The change was announced in a blog post called Small Settings Update. The move appears to have been made because an overwhelming number of users had been using replies this way, but I'm already seeing a bit of a frenzy in my normally-calm Twitter stream from people who liked discovering new users by seeing their friends @ them.
Perhaps the recent popularity of Twitter as a way to contact celebrities -- we're post-Oprah here, people -- made users a little sick of seeing the people they followed replying to celebrities they didn't follow or care about. There's a fairly simple solution to that, though: change the @reply settings yourself. I'm not sure what Twitter gained by removing the option, but I'm sure it will become clear when they respond to the backlash. My prediction: the settings go back to normal by the end of the week, or we hear a much better reason for the change.