It's no secret that Twitter has been battling a significant problem - user growth has stalled, almost entirely.
The platform's already implemented various changes in an effort to make Twitter "easier to use", which is considered the biggest barrier that stops new people from signing up, and this week, Twitter's announced its latest plan to make the platform more appealing. To boost the utility of tweets, Twitter's making a raft of changes to help users get more out of their 140-characters.
In the months to come, several changes that long time users have been asking for will be implemented. Most specifically, "@names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer 'use up' valuable characters," reads Twitter's blog post announcing the new changes.
Here's a look at what, specifically, will change, and how it will impact on your Twitter experience.
1. @names In Replies
Have a large group tweet with many user's names? You'll no longer need to take people out in replies in order to get your full message across. @names in replies will no longer count against your 140-character limit.
The change will enable more seamless conversation - you'll be allowed to have up to 50 people in your group tweets.
But an important consideration - just because you CAN do something, doesn't always mean you SHOULD.
Attached media, such as GIF's, photos, quote tweets, polls or videos, will also no longer count as characters in tweets. Removing images from the word count now frees up 23 additional characters for you to use. Now, a picture truly is worth a thousand words (or at least 140 characters).
3. Needing to place a "." Before A Name
If users want their replies to have the potential to be viewed by all their followers, and not only by the first person mentioned in a tweet, they can retweet it to show they'd like all their followers to be able to see it. Simply stated, new tweets that begin with a @username will now have the ability to reach all of your followers.
4. Retweet or Requote Your Own Tweets
Rather than needing to use a secondary program to schedule out a tweet that you'd like your followers to see at different times, you can now retweet your own tweets if you think certain users may have missed your post at an earlier time.
Will these changes be enough to lure new users into the world of the little blue bird? I'm not so sure. These changes won't actually be seen as changes to people just beginning their Twitter experience, however, they will simplify and most likely shorten the learning curve that new users often experience when faced with stringent restrictions that don't always make sense.
The changes will most directly impact those of us who've been asking for these specific updates for quite some time. The 140-character limit is restrictive, particularly when we're encouraged to build communities and have more of our conversations on Twitter's platform, rather than being forced onto a different messaging app or to email, in order to have full conversations.
Jack Dorsey and his team at Twitter have not yet said exactly when these changes will go into action, simply noting that they'll be rolled out in the upcoming months.