Published On: Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

Twitter stops counting @ Replies towards the 140 characters on web and mobile


Nearly a year ago, Twitter announced it would start enmity itself from a requirement that all tweets could usually enclose 140 characters by no longer counting some things – like media attachments or @ replies towards a impression count. However, it didn’t start contrast a change with @ replies until final fall. Today, Twitter says this change to replies is rolling out to all users opposite a web, iOS and Android.

As a refresher, Twitter was creatively designed as something of a open content messaging service. SMS messages are singular to 160 characters, so Twitter went with a impression extent of 140, meditative to leave room for a username forward of a tweet.

However, a @usernames in Twitter replies did finish adult counting towards a 140 characters, as did other media attachments, including photos, GIFs, videos, and polls. That left changed few spaces for a user’s tangible thoughts.

This also led to spontaneous conventions like “tweetstorms” for pity longer thoughts, and “Twitter canoes” – large, multi-person conversations that eventually mangle down since so many people join, there are no characters left to tangible post responses.

Twitter has been perplexing to redress a problems with its 140 impression extent over a past several months by changing its user interface and lifting various technical restrictions. It already stopped GIFs, images, videos, and quote tweets from counting towards a 140 characters. (Links still do count).

With today’s change to replies, Twitter’s interface on web and mobile will now arrangement those you’re replying to above a chatter text, instead of within a tweet, that frees adult some-more characters for your thoughts.

You can daub on this “Replying To” margin to see who’s in a review and make changes to a respond list, if we choose. This is finished by unchecking a checkboxes in a tiny pop-up that appears on a shade after drumming this field.

The change also aims to make reading longer review threads easier, since this “Replying To” margin is many smaller and not in a tweets themselves. That way, we can concentration on reading a tangible posts, though carrying to initial note the usernames.

There are some caveats to be wakeful of here, however. On a chatter Compose screen, for example, this “Replying To” margin is sincerely small. It could be ignored if you’re in a precipitate – creation we consider you’re essay a uninformed tweet, when unequivocally you’re participating in a conversation.

That’s critical since replies are a second category kind of tweet. Not everybody sees your respond seem in their Timeline, even if they follow you. Instead, they usually see a respond if they follow both we and a recipient.

Replies are also tucked divided in a delegate add-on in users’ Twitter Profile page, “Tweets Replies.” (Twitter progressing this month updated users’ profiles on mobile to arrangement replies in a apart tab, like they are on a web.)

Because of a reduce prominence for replies, users started putting a duration (“.”) forward of any respond they wish all their supporters to see, where they were referencing someone else’s tweet. This, too, has turn something of a Twitter convention.

In addition, since a usernames of those we are replying to are no longer in a tweet’s text, Twitter suggests that you Retweet your respond or use Twitter’s Quote Tweet underline to move it. That is, if we start a reply, we can’t unequivocally insert a dot into it anymore.

The association wants to discharge a use of a dot, though it doesn’t seem like that functionality will indeed mangle down entirely. After all, if we select to start a new chatter with a dot followed by an @ mention, they’ll still see it as will everybody who follows you.

Third-party developers should be prepared for this change, as Twitter communicated with them in May. However, we will need to wait until it rolls out publicly to see that developers then update their apps for this shift. (Tweetbot’s app is not ready, we reliable with developer Paul Haddad, who says he’ll exam this after it’s live and recover updates in a future.)

The change to replies outlines an finish of an epoch for Twitter. The association helped to popularize this format and move it into a mainstream. Today, regulating the “@” pitch to discuss someone is supported opposite a operation of services, including Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Slack, and even Outlook, among others.

While Twitter is creation these changes as a means of perplexing to facilitate a use for users, it’s unequivocally only swapping out one set of manners for another. And that can be super confusing. TechCrunch editor Matthew Panzarino even speedy Twitter not to go this route.

Some have argued that Twitter should lift a impression extent altogether – maybe only truncating longer posts underneath a URL. But that would make it some-more formidable to review tweets in longer conversations, since of all a clicking.

Twitter says during its tests of a new format, some-more people intent with a service. The updated format will arrive in a many new versions of a iOS and Android mobile apps, and on a web. Some will see it now and others will see it shortly after.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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