After months of rumors, the truth has been confirmed: Twitter is loosening their standards. Well, sort of.
The social media giant has long been hailed the king of abbreviation, forcing users to get creative in condensing their communications into a paltry 140 characters (and creative we have become!). The limit was originally in place due to Twitter’s reliance on SMS messages, and soon became what set them apart in the sea of social networks. But it looks like all that’s about to change.
Today, Twitter announced some key updates that will simplify the at-times daunting restrictions of tweeting. The company plans to roll out the changes over the next few months, and you’ll find us all here at Ghost Tweeting eagerly waiting. Here are the major changes and how they will affect your tw-universe.
Media and usernames no longer count toward your 140
When responding on Twitter, usernames (@nikastewart, @streambankmedia, @funnykittens) will no longer be counted against your character limit, making for easier conversation. No more struggling to squeeze your words into a tweet like a gaggle of circus clowns cramming themselves into a VW. #ridiculous
Also, any media that is attached to a tweet, including images, videos, polls, Periscope streams and the like, will not cut into your precious tiny space.
Retweet and quote tweet yourself
Currently, Twitter prevents you from re-sharing your own tweets due to spam issues. But with the new and improved network, you’ll be able to scroll down your timeline and boost an old tweet by retweeting it. If you feel you have said something that bears repeating, or you’re concerned that your audience missed a taste of your brilliance, you can now retweet and quote tweet yourself at your leisure.
Everybody can see your replies
Twitter has made it so replies are hidden from your main feed to avoid users scrolling through lengthy tweet wars or banal conversation. With the change, we’ll say goodbye to using .@nikastewart so everyone will see your tweet. There’s no longer a need to put a character in front of the @name in the beginning of a tweet when you want everyone to see it.
These changes represent Twitter’s valiant attempt to keep up with the evolving demands of social media. Today’s users want more freedom. They want to use more photo and video; they want to share their philosophical musings often; they want to engage in real conversation without having to reference a thesaurus.
Due to confusing Twitter lingo, hard-to-understand hashtags, and puzzling symbols, the network has seen a drop in new users and they are on a mission to reel them in. With news of these changes we’re crossing our fingers for a simplified Twitter experience and maybe (hopefully), an increase in genuine engagement with our followers.