Twitter’s finally fulfilling part of its 2016-era pledge to loosen up restrictions in order to allow more words into the same 140-character limit. It got started back in Spetember last year and is now rolling out another change centered on @usernames.
Twitter has so far counted user names as characters in reply tweets. The system ate into the precious 140-character limit. This won’t be the case anymore as names will now appear on top of a tweet as ‘Replying to @username’ rather than as text within it.
This effectively frees up space to inject more letters. It also serves to declutter the tweet itself. Rather than reading a series of names at the start of a tweet and then getting to the meat of the conversation, the point can be communicated right from the beginning.
The change further allows people to have better control over who a user wants to reply to. After tapping on the revert button, they can select the blue highlighted text next to ‘Replying to’ and change the other individuals who are part of the conversation.
Twitter’s apparently been testing this shift for a while now, finding that people engaged more in conversations after the switch. This wasn’t exactly the case when it accidentally got released back in December last year. Moving @names to the top prompted a slew of negative feedback.
Twitter at the time pulled the feature back and issued apologies for the mess. Now it’s making the change official. You’ll be able to see it for yourself in the latest version of the platform for iOS, Android, and desktop.