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Twitter no longer counts usernames in 140 characters

The golden rule of 140 characters on Twitter collapsed. Usernames are no longer counted in 140 characters, more space for tweets

There golden rule of 140 characters on Twitter collapsed. Almost a year ago Twitter announced that it wanted to start distancing itself from the rule (initially considered untouchable) according to which all tweets should contain only 140 characters, however, the test phase to implement the new character count, excluding usernames and multimedia attachments, which only started last fall. Twitter has finally announced that the change now available to all web, iOS and Android users.

Twitter 140 characters, where the rule comes from

Twitter was originally conceived as a kind of public text messaging service. SMS messages have always been limited to 160 characters, Twitter had set a limit of 140 characters, thinking of leaving space for a username before the tweet.However, the @username of Twitter, when replying to someone, ended up counting of 140 characters, as well as other multimedia attachments, including photos, GIFs, videos and surveys: which left very little space for a user's actual thoughts.

Exceed 140

Twitter has attempted to correct problems to the 140 character limit over the past few months by changing the user interface and making various technical restrictions. GIFs, images, videos and a tweet quote are excluded from 140 characters (links are still counted). With the current change in replies, the Twitter interface – both on the web and on mobile – show the users you are replying to above the tweet, instead of inside the tweet.

Answer everyone without problems

Now you can click on answer to all to see who is in the conversation and possibly change the list of contacts to be included in the reply, through a small pop up with the various names to be marked or excluded. The change has also been studied according to the fact that it happened that in very articulated conversations it was not possible to easily enjoy the contents.

Focus on reading the tweets

Finally it will be possible to focus on reading the posts instead of the names of the users.There are some warnings of which it is right to be aware: on the compose tweet screen, the field you answer is quite small and it could be overlooked if you are writing quickly and you may believe you are write a new tweet when – you are actually participating in a conversation. This is an important factor because not everyone sees an answer on their timeline, but they see the answers in case they both follow you and the recipient. The answers are also hidden in a secondary tab tweets and replies. (Twitter earlier this month updated user profiles on mobile to view responses in a separate tab, as if they were on the web).

Via the "." Before the username

Due to the reduced visibility of the responses, users have started putting a period (.) Before each response they want all their followers to see and this has also become a sort of convention on Twitter. Furthermore, since the usernames of the people to whom we reply are no longer present in the text of the tweet, Twitter suggests to retweet their reply or to use the citation of the tweet, because if you start a reply it is no longer possible to insert a period (.). The company aims to eliminate the use of the point, but it does not appear to be succeeding. After all, if you choose to start a new tweet with a dot followed by an @mention, anyone who follows us will see the dot.

Problems for developers

Third-party developers should be ready for this change, Twitter had already announced it last May. However, you will have to wait for the full public release to see application updates.The change in responses marks the end of an era for Twitter. The company helped popularize this format by making it mainstream. Today, the @ symbol to mention someone supported by many services like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Slack, and also by Outlook, among others.

A simpler Twitter

Twitter continues these changes to try to simplify its service, but in reality it would only be replacing a set of rules for other new ones. And it could create further confusion. Some have argued that Twitter has decided to increase the character limit entirely, for example by truncating longer messages by redirecting them with a url, but it would make it more difficult for us to read tweets because of all the clicking. on new addresses.Twitter said that since the testing phase of the new format was launched, there has been an increase in active users. The updated format will arrive in the most recent versions of the iOS and Android mobile applications, but also on the web. Some will see it immediately and others will see it shortly thereafter.

Twitter 140 characters