Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the social media site is being updated to make conversation easier and faster, as well as to attract more users.
Dorsey tweeted, "A few simple changes to make conversations on Twitter easier! And no more removing characters for images or videos!"
— Twitter (@twitter) May 24, 2016
In an interview with the BBC, Dorsey said:
"So we are focusing a lot of our energy on making sure that when people tweet it makes sense. And we have noticed how people have been tweeting over 10 years and one of the things that we noticed is that there’s this little hidden rule where if you put @name to start your tweet it’s actually only seen by that person you’re referencing and the people that follow the both of you. İt doesn't make sense to anyone and people have had to work around it. Put a . before the @ and then the name. And that also just looks ugly and it’s confusing."
The character limit for Tweets was originally set to be able to include a user's name and still fit within the 160-character SMS messaging format used for mobile phones.
Twitter Product Manager Todd Sherman went into great detail on the changes in a blog post shown below.
* Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will not be included in the restricted character count. This is expected to make conversations clearer, easier and more straightforward.
* Media attachments: When adding attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will also no longer count as characters within a Tweet.
* Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: Twitter will enable the Retweet button on user’s own Tweets, so a user will easily Retweet or Quote Tweet himself/herself when they want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
* No more @: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all the followers. It means that there is no need to use "@". If a user wants a reply to be seen by all the followers, he/she will be able to Retweet it to signal that will be viewed more broadly.
Twitter says these updates will be made available over the coming months and will have a significant impact.
The site also invited users to come up with their own suggestions in addition to the proposed changes.
"We’re exploring ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections, and conversations."