Twitter announced a pragmatic solution to a pressing issue for the social networking service today: It will no longer count @names, attachments, and other items against the 140 character count.
“Over the past decade, the Tweet has evolved from a simple 140-character text message to a rich canvas for creative expression featuring photos, videos, hashtags, Vines, and more,” Twitter’s Todd Sherman says. “but we want you to be able to do even more. In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters.”
Twitter is making the following changes:
Names in replies. @names in replies will no longer count toward the limit. “This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, ” Sherman says, “no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.”
Media attachments. Photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and other media attachments will no longer count towards the limit.
Retweet or quote yourself. You will be able to retweet or quote your own Tweets now. I actually do this from time to time already, leading to the inevitable “talking to yourself again?” commentary from the Twitterverse.
No more tweets to individuals. New Tweets that begin with a username (like “@name” or “.@name”) will be public and reach all your followers.
This is a smart move, and I can’t even call it a compromise, since it’s hard to imagine this change upsetting any users. Actually, I’d like to see URLs added to this list of items that don’t impact the 140 character limit, but whatever.
Twitter says the changes will be implemented over the next few months. If you’re using a Twitter app, that app will need to be updated as well, I’d imagine. I use Twitter daily, so this is a big deal for me.
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