Twitter rolls out big changes

Twitter changes blog (1)

By Emily Mata

Everyone on #TeamMoonsail is a big fan of Twitter. While we love Twitter – and use it religiously – there are caveats about the platform that make us want to pull our collective hair out.  Earlier this month, after much patient waiting, Twitter announced that it will be rolling out some much needed – and highly anticipated – improvements.

These four updates — which began being being rolled out today and will continue being rolled out over the next several months – will allow you to make the most of your 140 characters.

Media links will no longer count against your 140 character limit

Few things in a communicator’s life are more irksome than crafting the perfect tweet only to find that including media (photos or videos) will push you over your character limit. In a world that relies increasingly on visual storytelling, it is nonsensical to penalize users for including visuals – whether they be in the form of pictures, videos or GIFs. #TeamMoonsail is elated about this improvement, but there is a disappointing caveat: website links will still cut into your precious 140-character limit.


Have you ever had a great #replytweet, but not had the means (read: characters) to convey it? Then this one is for you: Twitter plans to disable @names from counting against your 140 character limit. This means that you can tag someone in a tweet (up to 50 people, actually) and still have 140 characters left.  While this is definitely an improvement, we’re still unsure why anyone other than a spam account would need to tag 50 different users in a single tweet.

Retweets and quoted tweets

One of the new – and seemingly unorthodox – updates coming to Twitter: the ability to retweet yourself/quote your own tweets. We imagine that somewhere in Calabasas, Kanye West is jumping for joy (or barely cracking a smile – same difference). On the surface, the newfound ability to retweet/quote tweet yourself seems somewhat bizarre (read: narcissistic). However, there are practical uses for this feature. For instance, it allows users to resurface tweets from the past, as well as add comment or commentary.  Additionally, with Twitter this year moving away from a chronological timeline and heading toward algorithmic-based timelines, your retweeted tweet may be viewed by an entirely new crowd. Even more good news? Quoted tweets will no longer count against your 140-character limit.

Using “.@”

Up until now, a tweet beginning with an @username was not visible to all of our followers, because it was considered a conversation between two accounts.  Thankfully, some social media guru got creative and discovered that adding a period in front of a @username was a workaround for the issue. Did it work? Yes. Was it convenient? No. Thankfully, Twitter addressed this issue in its latest updates, meaning tweets beginning with an @username can be seen by all of our followers and we can kiss that #hack goodbye.

We don’t want to discredit the exciting new changes coming to Twitter –we’re still giddy about the fact that media links won’t infringe on our 140-characters – but we must admit that we were disappointed to not see an ‘edit tweet’ feature listed as one of the highly anticipated – and long overdue – updates.  While the upcoming updates aren’t everything we dreamt they’d be, they are definitely a step in the right direction.