Over Twitter's more than a decade of existence, it's gone through many redesigns and iterations. One thing that's remained consistent, though, has been the 140-character limit. The struggle of staying within the allotted characters can be both frustrating when trying to make a point, and challenging and fun when you're forced to be efficient in explaining something. However, Twitter has made some slight changes recently to help you stay under 140. Starting on Thursday, Twitter no longer counts handle replies in your 140-character limit.
In carrying this out, Twitter actually also had to redesign how reply tweets look. Normally, you see the user handle and the response all on the same line. Now the handle is moved above the reply in a new line that says "replying to [insert handle]."
Twitter announced the change via a blog post that was tweeted out by the official account. The handles of other users in a conversation will not count toward the total, either, and will also appear above the tweet. You can also edit who sees your reply by clicking or tapping on "replying to" and removing unwanted handles from the list that appears.
This change is especially helpful if you're talking to multiple people who have particularly long handles, but will save some characters overall regardless of the size of the handle.
This isn't the first modification that Twitter has made in order to free up space on the character limit. In September, the company also stopped counting photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and quote Tweets. According to the post, Twitter is constantly looking for ways to make the site more user-friendly and helpful, and this is definitely a small but efficient way of doing that.
In 2016, Twitter considered expanding the character count from 140 all the way up to 10,000. That would have been an incredible increase, but also likely would have completely changed the way Twitter looks and how people use it. If users were able to use 10,000 characters, there would be much longer blocks of text to scroll through, and while it might have had its benefits definitely would have caused a lot of disruption for regular users. Plus, it would have defeated the entire concept of Twitter to begin with: sending out small bursts of information or thoughts to other people on the internet.
In the end, Twitter obviously didn't go through with the gigantic 10,000 character expansion. Instead, we've seen these little tweaks aimed at freeing up space and making tweeting a little more convenient. Hopefully we'll see more useful rollouts like this from the established social media brand in the future.