Content Consultant

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Since May this year, Twitter has been busy working on ways to help people get more out of its 140-character limit. This has so far resulted in images, GIFs, and links no longer being counted towards the limit, which has brought much joy to the Twitter community. It seems there is now further delight for users ahead, as a new change is currently in the testing stages: usernames in replies being ditched from the character limit.

As yet there is no set date for this update being rolled out across the platform, but Twitter did offer a glimpse of our tweeting future in a recent post on their Help Center.

When you currently reply to a tweet, it will look something like this:

Photo source: Twitter Help Center
Photo source: Twitter Help Center

However, this is what you can expect your replies to look like once the change has been rolled out. Note the usernames don’t actually feature in the tweet text anymore:

Photo source: Twitter Help Center
Photo source: Twitter Help Center

A Twitter spokesperson said of this news:

We have announced upcoming changes that will enable people to fit more into the 140 characters of a Tweet. We are currently testing one of these changes, so that in replies, usernames at the beginning of a Tweet no longer count toward a Tweet’s 140 characters. These tests may temporarily impact the way a Tweet appears, but Tweets will continue to be 140 characters

Related changes to consider

Having to type .@username when tweeting a user but wanting the conversation to remain public will no longer be required after the update, as all new tweets beginning with a username will automatically appear in your timeline – no dot required. Replies to an initial @username tweet will then only be seen by you, the person you are conversing with, and any mutual followers you have.

These changes are primarily aimed at enticing new users onto the platform, however I and many other long-term users are welcoming these changes with open arms. Businesses on Twitter are benefiting, as they can now squeeze more out of every tweet, which is especially useful when joining in with trending hashtags, relevant Twitter hours, or when running competitions.

With this latest change, we wave goodbye to .@username, group chats will become much easier, and we will all stop silently resenting friends and colleagues who signed up to Twitter with unnecessarily lengthy usernames.

 

Featured image credit: Natee Meepian

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