Twitter overhauls 140 character limit (ish) plus other changes

Social media managers all over the world are rejoicing after Twitter made the announcement it is finally giving some leeway with its character limit. Usernames and multimedia – including pictures and videos – will no longer count against the 140 character maximum.

The platform’s core users have cried out for changes to simplify the service – adjustments that would address the company’s recent issues with acquiring new users. Twitter has taken steps over the last six months to make its core product easier to use and less intimidating to newcomers.

The much-welcomed changes, as outlined by Twitter, are as follows:

Media attachments, such as photos and videos, will no longer count as characters within your tweet. This only applies to media uploaded directly to Twitter so it looks like links to the avocado on toast you put on Instagram will still count as well as any external news items or shortlinks.

@names in reply to tweets will also be discounted from the character limit. Say goodbye to penny-pinching your words to reach everybody in a group conversation!

Retweet and quote tweet yourself – Oh yes. Twitter will be enabling a retweet button on your own tweets, allowing you to easily resurface any previous posts and add new commentary. Bring on the #throwback to that really witty tweet you posted in 2008.

No more .@ – Bid adieu to the old “.@” convention used by Twitter connoisseurs to maximise post visibility. Tweets beginning with a username will now reach all your followers, not just those that follow both the person tweeting and the person named. Combined with the @username character count change, group conversations will become more straightforward.

The changes are a happy medium between users hoping the platform would discard the character limit altogether, and others who find the brief nature of the service one of its most appealing qualities.

There is no set date for the implementation of these changes other than “in the coming months,” allowing a flexible time frame for developers to incorporate the new rules into their third-party apps and websites.

There are still some snags for Twitter to tackle in the core product, namely allowing users to edit tweets post-publication, but in view of the company’s recent amendments, more changes seem to be on the cards.

Keep them coming, Twitter!

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