Twitter Plans to Ease Character Count Restrictions

Published: May 24, 2016 10:20 PM /


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Twitter is famous, or perhaps infamous, for its 140 character limit, which keeps messages on the platform brief. However, Twitter has announced some upcoming changes, which will be gradually rolled out over the upcoming months. These changes will allow users to get a little bit further with their 140 characters. Other changes will make it easier to broadcast replies to followers without awkward syntax.

One of the upcoming changes is that names mentioned at the beginning of replies using the @name syntax will no longer count towards the character limit. However, names at the start of new tweets will still count toward the character limit, as will any names added into the body of new tweets or replies. Media attachments like photos and videos will also no longer count toward the character limit.

Another change upcoming change is the ability for users to quote and retweet their own tweets. The post states that this new feature can be used if "you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed." Another change will make it so users don't have to put a period in front of the username at the start of a tweet to make sure it is seen by all followers. Once the changes are implemented, any new tweet that begins with a username will automatically be seen by all followers. If a user wants all of their followers to see a reply, they can use the new self-retweet feature.

The post also hints that there are more changes being planned besides those which are explicitly mentioned. It states, "We’re exploring ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections, and conversations."

Will these changes make Twitter a better platform for conversation? Will the changes attract new uses or help keep old ones? Leave your comments below.

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I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.