It is no secret the Internet is a breeding ground for its own sort of language, a common amalgamation of symbols, smileys, acronyms, hashtags, and @mentions. Twitter was the breeding ground for the latter of those staples, bringing into popularity a feature that makes it easy to grab another user's attention by using an @ symbol to tag them and send a notification their way. Such functionality is available across many services -- Facebook, Disqus -- and starting today, Tumblr.
The GIF-packed blogging network made the announcement today in a statement, doing so along side a GIF that demonstrated the common activity -- putting an @ symbol before a name will pull up a little drop-down menu from which to choose the individual, something that will be entirely familiar to anyone on Facebook or Twitter.
Likewise, other users can mention you on their Tumblr posts, and you'll get a little notification on your dashboard advising you of such a mention. Considering how long both Tumblr and @mentions have been around, the blogging network is fairly late to the game, though the lack of such mentioning powers hasn't likely had a big impact on the network.
The usability for Tumblr users will go up, if for no other reason than being able to see where they're mentioned and, perhaps, draw in their own audience more thoroughly by enabling them to see call-outs as well. In theory, the change could help entice those who have avoided the service or used it only sparingly, boosting traffic. Exciting? Not really. Handy? Absolutely.