Vivian Schiller, head of news at Twitter, mentioned during the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference, that they work on methods to move the @replies to the background. They do still test different methods but it looks like they would replace it just with the way how it works on Facebook. Instead of using the at-sign to reply to a user, you can use the user names there. This is probably the way how it will work on Twitter soon too. Check out the more detailed news on BuzzFeed.