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Coming very soon to Twitter: longer tweets

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Reuters/Robert Galbraith
Say more, show more.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Twitter is making good on its promise to give users more room in tweets.

The Verge reports that Twitter will stop counting ancillary items, including photos, GIFs, user handles, and more, as part of its 140-character limit beginning Sept. 19. The site could not confirm whether all the features will be launched simultaneously or rolled off in parts, but the shift is slated to begin Monday.

Quartz previously reported on the changes, first announced in May, which are summarized below:

Replies: @handles at the beginning of messages won’t count toward the 140-character limit, but they will count if mentioned in the middle or end of a tweet.

.@ replies: Furthermore, users will no longer have to add a character at the beginning of a tweet so that a reply is seen by a person’s followers. Twitter will soon include all replies in followers’ timelines. The social network used to hide these responses to avoid cluttering users’ timelines.

Media attachments: Photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and quoted tweets won’t count toward the 140 characters. Links, however, will count toward the limit, contrary to a report from Bloomberg last week.

Retweet yourself: Since tweets can easily get lost, Twitter will let users retweet or quote themselves to resurface their tweets at a later time.

The photos will free up more space for conversation. CEO Jack Dorsey has called Twitter’s rethinking of its 140-character limit ”the most notable change” in the company’s recent history. When there was chatter Twitter was considering 10,000-character tweets, Dorsey laid the rumors to rest by saying the character constraint “inspires creativity and brevity.”

However, the site did discover that users retweet more when a tweet has photos, links, and videos attached to its messages. By letting the elements stand separate from the 140-character limit, people may be encouraged to include them more often, upping overall engagement.

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