Among other changes, the company’s Senior Product Manager Todd Sherman confirmed in a blog post that the social networking site will no longer count media attachments like photos, videos and GIFs as valuable characters. The same will apply to polls and Quote Tweets, but links will still count.
Moreover, user handles (like @pulseheadlines) in replies will be also excluded from the famous 140 characters for which Twitter has been so widely acclaimed – or hated – or both.
Sherman wrote that the company is notifying developers and users in advance to ensure that the updates work properly when Twitter releases the changes.
Twitter’s rolling out some new changes. Here’s what they mean. pic.twitter.com/KJoiEC3Vr7
— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) May 24, 2016
Additionally, other changes will make tweets simpler. For instance, Twitter users will have the option to re-tweet themselves in case they want to share a new thought based on a previous tweet. The “Retweet button” could also come in handy if users want to replicate a post they felt didn’t draw enough attention at the first time.
Leaving restrictive rules aside to provide a better experience
Group conversations will also become easier as the service will stop counting @replies and @mentions to allow users fully express their thoughts. They’ll be displayed differently and people won’t be forced to drop people’s names anymore if they run out of space.
“One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler,” Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey said in a statement. “This is what Twitter is great at — what’s happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.”
Another change that will be rolled out in the coming months has to do with eliminating an unofficial convention that users developed when the interface stopped them from starting a tweet with another person’s Twitter handle.
People usually typed a period first if they wanted the tweet to be seen by all of their followers rather than just by the person being mentioned. Users will now be able to start a tweet with a @mention that will be seen by all of their followers.
The rule was originally intended to keep person-to-person conversations away from other users’ Twitter experience, but there’s actually something catchy about being able to follow chats between other interesting people.
Additional changes will be announced soon, Sherman said, suggesting that the company is exploring new ways to make currently available features simpler and more enjoyable while activating new ones, always keeping Twitter’s unique speed and brevity that makes it so distinctive.