Currently, it seems, nobody is notified when someone links to their profile using @.
I am not familiar with the design decision behind this, but it might be nice to make it an opt-in feature. Artists or commissioners might want to know when artwork they made or commissioned is posted, so they can share the post.
It might also help stem harassment; if someone were to link someone's profile with malicious intent, they would know where it came from.
Possible unintended ramifications of adding this feature, opt-in or not, deserve discussion, but it's not clear to me what those would be.
If this is a thing there need to be STRONG security/opt-out measures on both sides of the equation, because this is a really classic harrassment vector on twitter and has the potential to easily overwhelm someone's notifications as things stand. Like I can see use cases but I think erring HEAVILY on the side of safety here is the right move. Maybe off by default and then friends-only mentions as an opt-in? Or a layered system like twitter's filtering for DMs from people you don't know where they're hidden by default unless you go to a subpage.
Given the lack of private messaging features, there's currently no way to get another user's attention without sharing or commenting on one of their posts, which might be completely unrelated to the thing you want to talk to them about. "Telling someone you want to talk to them" seems like a pretty basic and necessary feature of a social media website.
Additionally, I agree that the lack of this feature is a security and harassment concern. If someone's linking their followers to my page, I want to know about it!
I'm also pretty unconvinced that the ability to ping someone with an @ is a security concern. If a user is seeking to harass someone, they could comment on or share their posts. I don't think there's any way to make it technologically impossible to harass someone without also making it impossible to talk to anyone else at all. At some point, you have to trust that moderation will do its job when it comes to individual harassing users.
i would like to promote this with more than a vote by commenting, this is a very strong need that i know personally to be keeping users off the site
+1, this is a feature that people expect already exists and are surprised and disappointed when it doesn't.