At the end of May 2016 Twitter announced changes to what gets counted towards Twitter’s 140 character limit.
Some of these changes are now live.
Here are the changes in detail:
1) MEDIA ATTACHMENTS
Media attachments counted for approximately 24 characters of the total 140. This mean’t that written content was compromised and forced to be made shorter. Media attachments include: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, quote tweets and DM deep links.
Media attachments are no longer counted in the 140 character limit. They are seen as additional elements instead of inclusive ones.
When replying to a tweet and making use of the Twitter @ handle the @ handle (s) is counted towards the character count – consequently reducing the number of characters available for the message. Threaded tweet replies with multiple users are impacted the most, often making conversation impossible.
@ handles in tweet replies are no longer be included in the 140-character limit for replies. This will make it easy to reply to several people at once (50 Max). However, @mentions added by the user in the body of a Tweet will still be included in the count.
UPDATE 27th October: Twitter have begun testing the removal of @replies from tweets; placing them in a separate grey box instead.
UPDATE 31st March: Twitter removes @replies from Tweet character count.*
Example of @replies consuming the 140 character count.
If you start a Tweet with an @name, only accounts that follow you and accounts that are tagged will see the Tweet. Twitter users get around this by including a full stop before the @name – ‘.@name’
– Jack Dorsey, Twitters Chief Executive.
Tweets beginning with @name will reach all of your followers. You can drop the full stop and regain a character.
Example of .@name convention.
4) BONUS: RETWEET & QUOTE YOURSELF
It was only possible to Retweet and quote Tweets of other people; not your own Tweets. To repeat a Tweet, you would need to create a new one from scratch.
Now users can Retweet and quote their own Tweets. This means that important messages can be recycled for enhanced engagement. It also means that Marketers can add new thoughts to old Tweets simply by quoting them.
Example of Retweeting your own content.
What are your thoughts on the current and upcoming changes? Let us know in the comments below.