After testing replies on tweets without counting them towards the characters for a significant period of time, Twitter has today finally announced that the changes will be coming permanently to both mobile platforms iOS and Android, as well as desktop.
Starting today, as the roll-out begins and reaches the wider audience, @usernames in tweets will not amount towards the characters in a tweet, saving up valuable characters that the user can put to good use. From now on, a “Replying To” box should appear on top of a tweet in conversation, upon clicking which should display a small reply list with the option to include or exclude members of the conversation by a simply check-box.
It was in May last year when Twitter announced that alongside the usernames, GIFs, photos, videos, polls, etc will no longer count as characters in a tweet, leaving a lot of room for the user to express his thoughts. But the biggest plus-side to usernames no longer hounding all the characters in a tweet, is that conversations are sure to become a lot easier now the check-box and “Replying To” displays. Not only will the user have more space for text in a tweet, but making actual conversation will be much smoother, instead of everyone just chiming in with whatever they think makes sense in no particular, organized manner.
Having only 140 characters to squeeze in our thoughts and humor has sometimes proved to be difficult, so users have resorted to tweet threads or “tweet canoes” to fully express what they mean or describe an observation. While the recent changes might not exactly prevent that from happening, if anything they’re a part of Twitter’s charm now, but they should at least make it easier to make more sense in 140 characters.
Some have suggested that removing the character limit altogether could do a lot of good to the platform, but, in our opinion, it would serve to defeat Twitter’s purpose. Twitter might also feel the same way about the format of its tweets, which is why this particular change has not been touched with a ten-feet pole.