Twitter eases on 140-character limit, Usernames, Photos No Longer Counted


Twitter has announced some sweeping changes to the popular micro-blogging site to be implemented in the coming months that will ease up on the 140 character limit for instance by clearly defining what exactly tallies up to the total character count. Addition of usernames in replies and also media attachments will no longer eat into your 140 character provision allowing you more space to cram in a few more words in a tweet.

Contrary to what has previously been speculated, Twitter will keep the condensed SMS-like message format. Rival Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo removed the standard 140 character limit in January 2016. Twitter has instead concentrated more on including additional features such as image, video and poll attachments while retaining the character limit.

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“…we have plans to help you get even more from your Tweets. 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.” Todd Sherman (@tdd), Senior Product Manager

New users to Twitter have often struggled to understand the vague rules governing the micro-blogging site and Twitter growth seemed to have stalled for a moment there no doubt forcing the company to strategise anew on the best way to improve the social media site. Twitter engineers have been striving create a more intuitive approach to using Twitter which now has media attachments, hashtags, polls and also Periscope, a popular live video streaming service.

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“One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “We’re focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. This is what Twitter is great at — what’s happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.”

The delay in implementing these changes is to allow developers to update their apps before the official worldwide launch. Twitter is also toying with the idea of introducing a dark mode toggle which will change the appearance of the app with the time of day.

New Twitter Features

  • Usernames (e.g. @dignited) will no longer be added to the 140-character count.
  • Media attachments (images, GIFs, video, quotes and polls) will also not be added to your character count.
  • Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. Previously, twitter users have added the “.@” hack to broadcast their tweets broadly. A simple retweet now will signal the intention of reaching a wider audience.
  • Users will now be able to retweet and quote themselves (the option has been grayed out). This as well will not count in the 140 character limit.