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The first app I know to use "@" to address people is Twitter and then it caught on. I know that "@" was used in Usenet as a replacement for the word "at", but not to refer to specific users to my knowledge.

Edit: I am not referring to just using the @ at symbol in general. I am aware of this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_sign

I am asking for the first time the symbol was used to refer to a specific person or user. For example, @Jane and NOT jane@email.com.

Did Twitter invent this usage when it was founded in 2006? And if so, who made that decision?

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    Upvoted to offset downvote. The question is about recent history, but as Pieter's comment shows, it has an answer. Why downvote or close a legitimate question that has a discernible answer? – Nerrolken Oct 13 '14 at 22:33
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    Because questions that can be answered by wikipedia should be closed as described in How to Ask – Mark C. Wallace Oct 14 '14 at 0:35
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    Well this can't be answered because it's been put on hold instead of migrated to stack overflow; but having @ as part of a username is a byproduct on using email addresses as a unique identifier for a user account. Prior to the web, usernames were server specific and thus no login asked for the @somwhere component as this was implicit. – LateralFractal Oct 14 '14 at 5:20
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    I can tell you that on Usenet (I used it heavily and wrote a book about it) nobody said @Kate to address a person. – Kate Gregory Oct 15 '14 at 7:50
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    Not sure I agree with the on-hold reason here. This is not trivia easily obtained from a wiki... – CGCampbell Oct 15 '14 at 13:54

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