Twitter's 140 Characters Are About to Get More Breathing Room

May 25, 2016 Lisa van der Pool

After years of carefully stuffing tweets full of information – being careful not to extend them beyond 140 characters – this week Twitter has announced changes that will give users more breathing room. This is great news for social media marketers, brands and everyday users alike.

Twitter's updates (which are rolling out in the coming months) technically break the current 140 character limit rule. Here's a rundown of the big changes coming to Twitter very soon:

  • @Replies: Among the biggest changes is the fact that when replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count toward to the 140-character count, according to Twitter. This is huge news and will make Twitter discussions, chats and interviews more seamless.
  • . @ is history: One of the most vexing issues for Twitter users - especially inexperienced tweeters - was that if a tweet was started with @name... only the people who followed you AND that person would see the tweet. Twitter has now done away with that quirky convention, allowing for tweets that begin with a username to be seen by all of your followers.
  • Retweets: Among the new changes, retweets are getting a huge makeover. Twitter plans to enable the retweet button on tweets that you have sent. So if you've ever felt as if the the Twittersphere missed your brilliant, concise comment the first time around, now you can simply retweet your own tweet.
  • Media attachments: Another key development, media attachments including photos, GIFs, videos, polls or event Quote tweets, will not be counted as characters within the tweet.

All these changes mean that tweets will look a bit longer, because, technically, they will be. Twitter's announcement this week comes on the heels of reports of discussions at Twitter around potentially dramatically increasing the length of tweets - up to 10,000 characters. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is said to be a fan of making tweets longer. Indeed, this week's changes are part of Twitter’s ongoing plans to improve the user experience and add new users.

Happy tweeting.

Topics: Marketing, Technology, Twitter, Writing, Content Marketing, Social Media, Storytelling
Lisa van der Pool

As a senior vice president at Inkhouse, Lisa shapes the strategy across a variety of accounts, while running campaigns and media trainings, and creating content.

Read more from Lisa van der Pool

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