Twitter is the perfect social media platform for users who want to send out quick quips to their networks. Donald Trump has used it as his own personal newspaper, gaining millions of followers along the way, and has since come to be known as one of the most social media savvy presidential candidates. We all know that awful feeling that ensues when your Pulitzer Prize-worthy tweet doesn't fit into the allotted number of characters. That's why on Tuesday, May 24, it was announced that Twitter will change its tweets, specifically allowing users to send messages with more than 140 characters.
Over the past 10 years since Twitter launched, the structure of tweets has evolved dramatically from text-only messages to creative posts that can include photos, videos, and GIFs. The standard 140 characters may seem like a sufficient amount to get your opinion out there, but that number decreases significantly when your multimedia elements (photos, videos, and GIFs) and your @mentions use up characters.
Twitter's Senior Product Manager Todd Sherman perfectly summed up the company's goals in a press release: "You can already do a lot in a Tweet, but we want you to be able to do even more."
There are four ways tweets will change moving forward, which ultimately will allow users to say what they need to without sacrificing those coveted characters for a photo or a link. When replying to another user's tweet, rather than their Twitter handle taking up characters (i.e., @KylieJenner is already 12 characters long), the new update gets rid of that altogether. "This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward; no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group," Sherman said in his press release.
Similarly, the new update doesn't make photos and videos count toward the character total, which means there's more room for your thoughts (in the form of words). The best part? The ability to retweet and quote tweet yourself; to be fair, retweeting yourself seems redundant if you've already posted the message to twitter. However, being able to quote tweet yourself will definitely come in handy when you want to expand on one point in a series of tweets, or if you noticed a typo in your original tweet.
And as for the pesky period before the @mention on Twitter, Sherman revealed in the press release that that will be undergoing some changes, too:
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.
But don't just take my word for it! "Start tweeting with the new, expanded character limit and never run out of space for your thought-provoking words.