Twitter Stops Counting Usernames in Replies Against 140-Character Limit

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Twitter introduced a few tweaks to replies Thursday that could help to make its service more conversational. Most importantly, user names in replies don’t count against a tweet’s 140-character limit anymore.

Instead, users now have all 140 characters for their reply, even if they are replying to a handful of users.  “With all 140 characters for your replies, you have more room to participate in group conversations,” said Twitter Product Manager Sasank Reddy in a blog post.

In addition to the character-limit tweaks, Twitter also changed how replies look like in its apps and on its site. Instead of including usernames in a tweet itself, they’re now listed above the tweet. “When reading a conversation, you’ll actually see what people are saying, rather than seeing lots of @usernames at the start of a tweet,” said Reddy.

This is just Twitter’s latest attempt to make its 140-character limit less restrictive. In September of last year, the company started to exempt videos, images and polls from that character limit.

Twitter originally launched with a 140-character limit to make it possible to send out tweets with a single text message. Nowadays, most Twitter users access the service via its mobile apps, making that limit more relevant.

But Twitter’s user base has grown very accustomed to the brevity of tweets, forcing the company to backpedal after reports surfaced a little over a year ago that Twitter executives were considering to ditch the limit altogether. Last March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly promised that the 140-character limit would not go away.

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