The social network turned social media powerhouse Twitter has seen quite a few changes since it’s 2006/2007 inception. The network which started as a blast communication system allowing people to get messages out 140 characters at a time was a sea change in internet communications. Over time they have brought in rich media and the the conversations have expanded to become a regular part of many people’s web usage.
In the Tuesday morning Twitter blog it was formerly announced that the platform is expanding. In the post, writer Todd Sherman indicates:
Over the past decade, the Tweet has evolved from a simple 140-character text message to a rich canvas for creative expression featuring photos, videos, hashtags, Vines, and more. In just the past few months we added the ability to poll your community, react quickly and cleverly with GIFs, and share and enjoy Periscope broadcasts in Tweets.
Here is a list of the announced changes that we will be seeing soon within Twitter:
- 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: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
- Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll 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.
While these changes seem to be vast, at the core Twitter is attempting to make radical organic changes to their structure. Now user names, retweet info, and media will no longer count against that precious 140 character limit. Creating an improved vehicle to expand public tweets beyond the .@username method gives the network a cleaner look as well.
These changes have been rumored for some time but unlike prior reports, the 140 character communication platform that we all know and love will remain intact. Twitter has spent the past couple years struggling to maintain relevance in a Facebook dominated social news and networking platform. These changes allow Twitter to expand without changing its core competencies. We should expect to see these changes roll out over the next several months. We will be sure to keep you up to date as those changes officially roll out.