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Twitter tweaks replies, hires ex-Google designer

Google's former visual designer is purportedly going to Twitter. What does this mean for the hot micropublishing service?

It didn't take long for Douglas Bowman, Google's former visual design leader, to land a new gig. Creative Capital's Spencer Ante reports that Bowman is taking the helm as creative director for Twitter, a spot that, up to now, was being held down by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

Bowman had originally stated that he had something else lined up prior to leaving Google, and it appears that this was it. Neither Bowman's personal blog nor Twitter's has made mention of the hire.

So what does this mean for Bowman, and more importantly Twitter? For Bowman it's a chance to move more than five pixels at a time, and flex his design chops on two things he's good at: in-house advertising and user interface design. Bowman was responsible for much of Google Calendar's design along with some of Blogger's early templates.

That's not the only change at Twitter. Monday afternoon the company rolled out a change to its replies feature which now tracks all mentions of a user's name. The new system will consider a tweet from someone else a reply if your @username is mentioned anywhere, instead of just the beginning of a user's message. The change is also being pushed out through Twitter's application programming interfaces so users can track these references without having to rely on Twitter's built-in search engine.