As the joke went as soon as Twitter's IPO was announced... there goes the neighborhood. With shareholders to answer to, Twitter will have to make money somehow, and this usually means ads in your stream - if not paid accounts.
Twitter are now offering a feature of filtering mentions... So you can filter it to only display the mentions from Verified Twitter accounts. That's 50,000-plus verified users that can filter out mentions from unverified users and spam bots. All the while they're spamming us, because when Kim Kardashian tweets about EOS it's somehow not spam.
This is great if you're one of those verified twitter accounts, of course. Like Cindy Gallop's account is. How do you become a verified twitter account? It seems to be a bit arbitrary, you know someone at twitter, you're famous within your field, you're often "spoofed" by other nasty twitter accounts pretending to be you. That sort of thing. Basically it's an invite only sort of system, verified says it's currently used to establish authenticity of identities of key individuals and brands on Twitter. "Key" is key.
Will this mean that those celebs you love to bait with random tweet-questions won't even see your witty banter in the future? Probably. Honestly, don't flatter yourself, they never saw your tweets to begin with. Only William Shatner treats twitter like a daily AMA. Democratic twitter has now built its own ivory tower. There goes the neighborhood.