One of Twitter’s defining traits is its character limit: whatever you need to say must be done in 140 characters or less. Over the past several months there have been rumors that there would be changes to this limit, some of the bigger ones including an increase to 1000 characters (please, no) and excluding images from the character count.
On Twitter’s blog they recently confirmed some of the rumors in a detailed post about upcoming changes to their character limit rules and rules regarding replies.
Some of the upcoming changes include:
Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.
For marketers and businesses these changes are about to make Twitter a much more enjoyable place. The rules regarding replies and media attachments mean we will have more room to provide answers and information to customers, and include more text in advertisement/promotional tweets.
The retweeting and quote tweet self rules are really exciting, though. Making sure you’re tweeting out the information about your new product during peak hours and reaching the widest audience is critical, and even with careful planning it can be buried under the stream-of-consciousness nonsense that’s all over Twitter. Now you can retweet yourself to give your posts that extra boost if you feel like it didn’t reach as many people as it could have, and quoting yourself will allow you to easily provide updated info, reminders, etc. to a previous Tweet.
Twitter’s changes will be rolling out over the coming months, and it’s not sure whether each feature will be introduced individually or in one big overhaul. Regardless of how they’re rolled out, these updates are going to improve Twitter for business in big ways.