3 Big Changes to Twitter’s Character Count

Earlier this month, word came out that links and photos would no longer count towards Twitter’s 140-character limit. While this was exciting to some and rejected by some who don’t like change, it had yet to be confirmed by Twitter directly.

That all changed Tuesday morning when Twitter announced several upcoming changes to their character count.

Twitter Character Count

Beyond the already (but unofficially) announced new rules for images and links, here are the big changes that Twitter said will be rolled out over the next few months and what they mean for Community Managers.

Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.”

CM Implications: Responding to tweets, particularly if there are multiple recipients, will now allow for a more complete answer. Even if @UsingAsManyCharactersAsPossible has a complex question, you’ll soon be able to give them all the info you want.

Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button will be enabled on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.”

CM Implications: These probably won’t be used too often in reactive engagement, but could be leveraged (buzzword alert!) for proactive tweets.  However, if your brand is known for being goofy or lighthearted, quote RT’ing your own content could be a good way to draw attention to or poke a little fun at yourself.

Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.”

CM Implications: First, take a deep breath. This does not mean that all replies will be visible in followers’ timelines. This change will only affect new tweets that start with @username; replies will still only be visible to those who follow both your account and the account you reply to. Secondly, if there is a high-profile account that your brand is replying to, you will be able to RT your reply instead of adding a period before your response. It’s still not a best practice in most cases, but it will shortly be an option.

Again, none of these changes will appear today, so there’s no need to adjust for them yet. However there will soon be much more opportunity for creative writing and ways to engage with followers on everyone’s (ok, not everyone’s, maybe just my) favorite social networking site.

Curious about how these, or any other, changes may affect your specific brand? Contact us, and we’ll get the conversation started.

Ignite Social Media