Twitter marked its eighth birthday on Thursday as reports said that the microblogging company was working on a system that would do away with its signature symbols.

Buzzfeed reported that Vivian Schiller, the head of news at Twitter, told a gathering of news editors that the use of the hashtag symbol (#) to denote a topic and the ‘at’ symbol (@) to link a tweet to another user were “arcane” and that the company was working to push them into the background of the service.

In a reaction tweet to the report Schiller appeared to confirm that big changes in the service are imminent.

“There’s a lot of creative thinking going on around how to make Twitter more and more intuitive,” she tweeted. “Watch this space.” The potential changes come as Twitter hits something of a speedbump as it marks its birthday.

In its quarterly earnings report in February Twitter reported that the growth in its active users base is slowing, with only 1 million new users joining in the previous quarter in the US and 9 million joining globally for a total of 241 million active monthly users.

Turkey bans Twitter

Turkey has banned social networking site Twitter, media reported. The ban came to light when Twitter users, trying to log on to their accounts, were redirected to a statement by Turkey’s telecommunications regulator instead, BBC reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had vowed to “wipe out Twitter” after allegations were made on the site referring to corruption in his inner circle. “I don’t care what the international community says at all. Everyone will see the power of the Turkish Republic,” the prime minister said Thursday. Twitter has not commented on the ban as yet.

Turkey lifted the ban on YouTube in 2010, two years after blocking the video sharing website since there were videos that seemed to insult Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Keywords: TwitterTurkey