Twitter has announced a major update to its service: user names and media attachments will not count towards the 140 characters limit in Tweets anymore. Along with this, Twitter is also changing the way how retweets and replies work. These modifications should enable users to express more in 140 characters.
Here is a summary of the new Twitter changes:
- In replies, the character space taken by ‘@names’ will not be counted towards the 140 characters limit.
- Media attachments such as GIFs, videos, photos, polls and more will not be counted as characters in Tweets.
- The Retweet button will be enabled on users’ own tweets so they can retweet and quote themselves.
- The last change it to the usage of ‘.@’ convention which is normally used when a user wants to share their reply to another user with everyone in their followers list. New Tweets starting with a username will reach all of a users’ followers by default. This might be annoying for followers since they will get to see replies to users they don’t even follow.
Looking at Twitter’s past growth, the changes seem long overdue. Since its advent in 2006, the online social networking site has gained immense popularity and influence. A community of 332 million active users (January 2016) post content and interact with world leaders, artists, celebrities and businesses without any barriers. Recently, Twitter’s growth has stalled and it is evident through its stock value. Let’s hope that these changes turn out to be positive for Twitter.