Your Twitter Display Name Can Now Be Up To 50 Characters Long, & People Are Starting To Get Creative
Twitter has been making a lot of changes this week. First, the social media platform rolled out its 280 character limit to all users on Nov. 7. Two days later, Twitter also doubled the display name character limit to a whopping 50 characters. This doesn't apply to your username (aka, what comes after the @), which can only be 15 characters, but your display name — the one that appears above your username on your profile page — is now double the length. It didn't take long for people to get creative with the new change, either.
The company announced the change in a tweet, of course. The message from @TwitterSupport says this: "Starting today, your Twitter display name can be up to 50 characters in length! Go ahead, add that middle name or even a few more emojis." On one hand, this is great for those with long names who couldn't fit them in the previous 20-character limit, and it does allow you to be more expressive.
I decided to test out the new character limit for myself. My display name is my full name with a Christmas tree emoji to show how excited I am for the holiday. But why limit myself to emojis when I can just spell it out for everyone?
I changed it back within seconds. I feel a bit uncomfortable that you can now fit an elevator pitch into a display name. Before any of the character limit changes, a user's display name, username and tweet would take up 175 characters at maximum length. Now, the number is up to 345 characters. People quickly began to use the extra space because, if we've learned anything from Twitter, it's that people have opinions.
Get Rid Of The Nazis
Many users, including perennial fave Mara Wilson, saw an opportunity to throw shade at Twitter's controversial, hands-off approach to harassment and white nationalism on the platform. This week also saw Twitter-wide furor over the verification of Jason Kessler, who organized the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. Wilson was not alone in using the new space to highlight the need for the social media platform to take action against harassment and racism; Twitter user @carolineyezer changed their display name to "Caroline Yezer PhD #WouldPreferThatYouBanNazis," and the hashtag quickly caught on.
Bragging About Accomplishments
Inside NU, a news site about the athletic teams at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, is using its extra characters to brag a bit: "NORTHWESTERN IS RANKED IN FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL."
Using Binary Code
One of the most iconic moments in 'The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody' is when Esteban introduces himself by his full name. Use your 50 characters to remember a time when life was simpler.
Stanning For A Fave
Going Full Emoji
There's a lot going on here, but I can't say I disapprove of it. Why not take the opportunity to use your favorite emoji a few times...or 50? Again, this is a bit overwhelming on the eyes, but I respect the dedication.
Getting Inspired By 'Game Of Thrones'
Follow Twitter user @Azniac's lead and give yourself a regal-sounding title like Daenerys from 'Game of Thrones,' who once introduced herself as "Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons."
Showing Some Self-Awareness At How Ridiculous This Is
For businesses and people who have longer names, this change is a blessing, but for the rest of us, it's mainly an excuse to be silly. You have the 50 characters at your disposal, so why not use them? Even if you don't have anything funny to say, you might as well use up all that extra space.
If you're like me, you'll change your name to take advantage of the update and then realize it feels like way too much. But maybe you'll take a chance, make a clever joke and impress potential followers.