The Latest Changes To Twitter’s 140-Character Limit

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 21 Sep 2016 by Shima Khanea
Social Media

When Twitter first launched in 2006, Tweets were simple 140-character text messages. Now Tweets can include anything from polls, GIFs, videos to photos. It was exciting news for anyone using Twitter when the announcement came out in May 2016 about the upcoming changes to enable Twitter users to express even more within the 140 characters provided by the Social Media network. Now people can add extra elements, media, and content to their Tweets without sacrificing the characters they have to share their views which allows for better public conversations.


What Has Changed?

Twitter has simplified the way attachments and replies work on Twitter by moving display elements so they don’t count towards the character limit within your Tweet.

  • Media attachments: a URL at the end of Tweets generated from attaching photos, video, poll, GIF, DM deep link or Quote Tweet won’t count towards the character limit. Keep in mind, URLs typed or pasted inside the Tweet will count towards the character limit, so this will not change.
  • Replies: @names that auto-populate at the start of a reply Tweet does no longer count towards the character limit. However, it’s important to know that new non-reply Tweets starting with @mention will count, as will @mentions added explicitly by the user in the body of the Tweet. New Tweets that begin with a username will no longer have to use the “.@” convention in order to have those Tweets reach all of their followers.
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: You are now able to Retweet your own Tweets as well as Quote Retweet yourself when you want to perhaps share a new reflection or feel like a good Tweet went unnoticed.


The above diagram shows that when displayed to users, @mention, URLs and media will appear outside the tweet itself, leaving a full 140 characters to play with when composing the text for your tweet.

When a Tweet has been posted in reply to another account, the name will be displayed in a similar format to the below image, which will help give the feel of a threaded conversation.potential-ways-to-display-replies-twitter-blog

What are your thoughts on the latest Twitter changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment in the comment section below.

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