Express even more in 140 characters on Twitter |

Express even more in 140 characters on Twitter

Brook Bentley |

Since Twitter’s inception a decade ago the Tweet has advanced from 140-character text message to include photos, videos, #hashtags and more.

Twitter has been working hard to encompass even more features in hopes of capturing new users and keeping their existing ones. The ever challenging social media platform sphere has been pushing more for visual stimulation – video is king right now, ICYMI.

Recently, Twitter introduced the addition of polls for community interaction, GIFs for clever reactions and allowed sharing Periscope broadcasts in Tweets.

That is a lot you can do in 140-characters, but Twitter wants to offer more. They have been in the talks of modifying what counts toward a 140-character tweet. So, moving forward here is a breakdown of what will no longer count as a valuable character.

When replying to a Tweet @names will no longer use up part of the character count. Twitter’s goal is that this will make conversations on Twitter easier, more straightforward and hopefully make reaching a whole group easier.

Next, media attachments. Remember, I mentioned video being King earlier and last month I highlighted Instagram’s interest in mirroring what Snapchat was doing. Twitter wants in. When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls or Quote Tweets they will no longer count towards the beloved 140-characters.

Have you ever wanted to have a conversation with yourself? Twitter is going to let you. They are enabling the Retweet button on your own tweets. This way, if you have a new reflection or feel something great went unnoticed you can share it again.

Finally, say goodbye to the “.@” convention. Tweets that start with a @username will reach all your followers instead of replying to just that user.

When Twitter initially announced that the 140-character count would be changing, they left it very vague and without a launch date. Now, the date speculation looms around Sept. 19 — today — but that could change too.

There is some advantage of announcing major updates so far ahead of their actual release. The goal is to lessen the blow. By letting everyone talk about it when the announcement is first made lets the negativity die down in advance of the actual launch of the changes. This means people will likely give the changes a fair chance.

The bigger question, will it bring in new users? The changes will, of course, improve the experience of already existing Twitter users, but will it debunk the Tweet process to new users. Will it make the Tweet process simple enough that people will feel less bared if they join Twitter?

Either way, it looks like we’ll find out what these changes do for Twitter any day.