The update Twitter users have longed for is finally here - images and links at the end of tweets will no longer take up any of your precious 140 characters.
The change opens doors for much more in depth communication on the social media network - Twitter was always designed to be used with phones, but back when Twitter started we only really had SMS which would start to split messages at 140 characters (hence the character restriction). But it's 2016 now, and I'm so glad Twitter has implemented new updates that keep the core of the network alive, while giving us a little more wiggle room.
And besides the character adjustment there are a few more changes which are outlined on the Twitter blog.
Here are the full details on the updates:
- 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.
- Media attachments - A URL at the end of Tweets generated from attaching photos, a video, GIF, poll, Quote Tweet, or DM deep link will not count towards the character limit (URLs typed or pasted inside the Tweet will be counted towards the character limit as they do today).
- Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself - Twitter will be enabling the Retweet button 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.
- 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.
So what does this mean for your business?
Twitter's new updates enhance the social media network without losing the essence of why we came to love it in the first place. The new changes are great for bands and business because they expand and improve the way we can communicate on Twitter, giving us just a little more wiggle room to get the point across.
Here are 5 benefits of the new Twitter 140 Character Updates:
1. More room to tweet
The first clear, obvious benefit to Twitter's update is more room to tweet. 22 characters is a lot of room on Twitter (16% more, to be exact), giving you a lot more options when composing your message.
Keep links and media attachments at the end of tweets, and @usernames in the beginning of your tweet to fully use your 140 characters for your message.
2. More Opportunities to Increase Reach with Hashtags & Visual Content
Tweets with visuals get 2x more engagement than those without, so I always try to include at least one photo in every tweet. If I had a dollar for every time I couldn't attach a visual to a tweet, or I had to drastically edit a tweet that was one character too long, I wouldn't be writing this post because I'd be on permanent vacation.
Now that visual content won't steal characters away, you'll not only have more space for a visual, or poll, but you might even be able to get a few extra hashtags in your tweets, all of which can increase visibility and engagement.
3. Retweet & Quote Yourself for Reach
Another way you can take advantage of Twitter's new updates for reach and visibility is to use the retweet and quote options.
- Retweet your own popular tweets to give them an extra boost.
- Quote yourself to continue a thought and add another 140 characters (and more context) to a tweet. To do this send your first tweet, quote it by going to the tweet and hitting the retweet button. Complete your thought in the second tweet. Boom - 280 characters.
- Think about using the quote feature to breathe new life into older tweets.
4. In Depth Replies
With usernames at the start of your tweet no longer using up any 140 characters, you may actually be able to reply in one tweet, instead of multiple - making for more fluid, in depth conversations on the network. I'm so happy I'll no longer have to worry about the length of a username to construct a response.
Media attached to the end of your tweet no longer affecting the character count also means that adding more context, like a screenshot or video for further explanation, will be easier than ever. I can see this working wonders for customer service, or for any product that benefits from visual aides.
5. No Confusion Over .@ Rule
So many people were confused about this one pesky Twitter rule. If your tweet started with a username, only you, the person mentioned and anyone following both accounts would see the tweet.
I constantly saw both brands and individuals missing out on exposure because of this rule, but all of that confusion is gone now. Tweets sent to another user by tagging the username in the beginning of a tweet will now be seen by everyone.
The new changes are either in effect now or will be shortly, enabling brands to start experimenting and testing which new approaches will prove most beneficial for them.
This post originally appeared on Dhariana Lozano's blog.