Twitter understands that a character limit in replies is not justified, especially when tagging other handles in the conversation. Starting today, your tweet replies to an individual or in a group conversation will not count the @usernames towards the character limit of 140, which essentially means you get all of the characters to express yourself. Also Read - Twitter Spaces: How to start, join the audio-based Clubhouse alternativeAlso Read - Twitter Spaces coming soon to desktop: Report
With the new feature, Twitter has also attempted to ease conversations in a few ways. Unlike before, where the recipient s name appeared within the tweet response; following the roll out of the new feature, the names will appear above the tweet text. Now, this not only makes it easier to see who is being replied to but makes it a lot safer to have multi-user conversation. Additionally, you can now easily tap on Replying to to have more control on accidental tweets with manual tagging. Also Read - Twitter-owned live streaming platform Periscope shuts down after six years
We’re changing replies so that you have all 140 characters to express yourself.
Twitter (@Twitter) March 30, 2017
This also reduces the confusion while reading a conversation with multiple usernames interlaced into the tweets. Given that Twitter usernames can vary from unusual combination of characters to undecipherable words; the new feature that does away with mentioning usernames within a response only makes the whole interface a lot neater.
Although the nifty new feature does make Twitter conversations easier, there is a catch. To begin with, the Replying to field is very small and can be easily ignored. Furthermore, the tweets sent as replies are categorized under a separate tab which makes it more difficult for other users to see what your replies are if they don’t follow the same person you are replying to. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+: Social media has given its verdict
Now that having @username into replies with a period (.) in the beginning is dead; it also means that if you do want to broadcast your reply to a specific person, you will be required to either Retweet your reply or use Twitter s Quote Tweet feature to cite it. In cases you want to start a new tweet with a period followed by @username, it ll be nonetheless visible to others who follow you. So essentially, the new feature is more prominent when it comes to individual replies and group conversations.
When Twitter started off somewhat as a public text messaging service, while providing alternative to the traditional 160-character limit of SMSs, it restricted its own service to 140-characters to keep room for usernames. However, as users realized that following the usernames, not much scope was left to actually say what one wanted to in the remaining characters; Twitter acknowledged the flaw and started working towards fixing the problem, without compromising the essence of its service. However, what Twitter popularized once – using @ to tag/ mention/ address users on social media – today also marks its end.
In one of the most significant changes in the recent past, Twitter stopped counting media content such as GIFs, images, videos, and quote tweets towards the character limit. ALSO READ: Twitter relaxes the 140-character limit, but there is a catch