Twitter stops counting usernames in replies toward the 140-character limit

Image: IDGNS

31 March 2017

Twitter has decided to no longer count a username toward your 140 character limit, a change now rolling out to its iOS and Android apps as well as

This means tweets will look a little bit different. Instead of including the username of the person you’re replying to in the tweet itself, the username will appear above your text. The change will make tweets more easily readable, especially when conversations include a handful of people. (This also means the end of lengthy @username clusters in Twitter reply canoes.)

Twitter is also offering a new ‘replying to’ feature so you can check or uncheck the usernames of the person or people you want to keep in or kick out of the conversation.

Twitter product manager Sasank Reddy said in a blog post that the feature was designed with user feedback in mind, and that “people engage more with conversations on Twitter” in tests of the new replies.

“Our work isn’t finished – we’ll continue to think about how we can improve conversations and make Twitter easier to use,” Reddy wrote.

That’s a common refrain for Twitter, which makes product changes at a positively glacial pace – especially compared to rival social platforms like Facebook – which completely changed the look of news feeds to include Stories, a new way to share content within the website.

Meanwhile, Twitter users are still clamouring for an edit button. Twitter has become an essential platform for sharing news and finding information, especially now that the president of the United States uses it as his preferred communication tool. The company is finally making headway in curbing its abuse problem with new tools, but Twitter still needs to speed up its product changes to satisfy its existing users and attract new ones.

IDG News Service

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