There is no question that Twitter’s innovative messaging platform has rocked the social media industry. However, many users have had a problem operating within its concise 140-character limit, especially when including long links and names in tweets. Twitter has listened to its users and announced this week how it will evolve its platform to allow greater flexibility and simplify tweets, including what counts towards the 140-character limit.
In the coming months, Twitter will slowly release new updates and will look a little different once the changes roll out. But what is changing? To start, user handles (@names) will no longer appear ahead of replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer consume valuable characters.
Yesterday, Twitter’s senior product manager, Todd Sherman, confirmed that reported character exclusions are in development—as well as a few additions. Although the company hasn’t said exactly how these changes will look, Sherman offered the following guidelines to help users understand the upcoming changes:
Replies: When replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward; no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
Media attachments: When adding attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your tweet. More room for words!
Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: The retweet button on your own tweets will now be enabled, so you can easily retweet or quote tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a previous tweet went unnoticed.
Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around tweets that start off with a username. New tweets that begin with a username will now reach all followers. That means no longer using the “.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast tweets to all of their followers. If you want a reply to be seen by all of your followers, you will be able to retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.
Sherman also added that Twitter’s developers were notified of the changes at the same exact time the public was notified. So it’s safe to say that we can expect to see these new features unveiled during the next few months.
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