First noticed by Mashable in very limited test about a month ago, this feature now appears to be rolling out to all users. Right now, it looks like users with a smaller number of followers are getting it first, and it’s spreading to those with higher follower counts.
The feature is straightforward, and quite frankly, it’s surprising Twitter didn’t have this a long time ago. It places a Tweet box on users’ profile pages so you can direct Tweets at them right from those pages (without having to jump back to the main Twitter.com page or reply to a specific Tweet that user sent). The box features grayed-out text that reads: “Tweet to @USERNAME”. When you click in the box, that text is replaced by a pre-populated @USERNAME intro, after which you type to that user.
Yes, this is a bit like what Facebook has done forever in order to write on someone’s Wall. Of course, unlike a Facebook Wall, your Tweet won’t appear on another users’ profile page, it will simply go into the main Tweet stream.
I suspect Twitter is testing several other little tweaks such as this one, all in the name of engagement. That seems to be the main theme of NewNewTwitter. Yes, I just called it that.