Malaysian

Here's How Twitter Is Giving Us Longer Tweets, While (Somewhat) Keeping To The 140 Limit

When I first heard about Twitter several years ago, I immediately fell in love with its concept: direct and simple, perfect for the minimalist blogger and the busy businessman. As a lover of words, I was getting tired of Facebook’s increasingly multi-media platform and felt that my written posts did not reach out enough to my online friends. Therefore, I hopped onto Twitter’s platform and started the conversation.

140 characters only. A few words, one sentence to grasp someone’s attention. That was the limit, which encouraged more creativity than ever. The art of language was re-discovered and words became more valuable than ever.

Image Credit: bevtucker.com

In addition, I personally almost never used the media attachment feature, I would almost never upload a picture to accompany my tweet. I had Instagram for that. Twitter was for me a literary platform; it was my mini-blog. However, I did share links quite often, whether it was from a web magazine or YouTube, and this is where I found my linguistic creativity restricted.

Other Twitter users started feeling it too. I would write short, and sometimes despite myself, shallow and mundane statuses on Twitter while the more meaningful posts would go to Facebook, which I had come back to.

Then, a few days ago, the developers of Twitter officially announced in their blog that they intend to extend the 140-character limit! The update is going to be effective in the coming months. What impact will this change have on us, users?

Image Credit: huffingtonpost.com

The Incoming Updates In a Nutshell:

The way the developers will ‘extend’ the character limit is simple, by removing certain components of a tweet from the character count. More specifically, two main aspects will be excluded—the ‘@name’ used to reply to others’ tweets and media attachments, such as photos, links, videos, polls and all that good stuff which we all use to embellish our tweets by making them more informative and visually appealing.

Image credit: bustle.com
Image Credit: bustle.com

Therefore, only the text, the manually typed words, will be counted down from the 140-character limit; yes, the limit still remains at 140. Nevertheless, I believe that this change will make tweets more creative, giving the users more space to adequately voice out and express themselves. This is how we will finally be able to make the best out of 140 characters, without feeling that any character is going ‘wasted’.

Moreover, the developers added that they will also remove the ‘@’ symbol from tweets starting with a username, for simplification, and still with the same effects of reaching out to all related followers. In addition, we will further be able to retweet our own tweets and replies in case the latter went unnoticed.

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Eventually, it seems that Twitter is planning to up their game in the coming months, by allowing its users a wider tweet exposure and more creative space. After Facebook’s and Instagram’s ongoing feed improvements and the competitive popularity of Snapchat, it is indeed time for Twitter to shine (maybe, we shall see). So far, these announcements have been met with positive feedback from the general audience. Who else is excited?

 

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