Twitter Announces Changes To Tweet Parameters

Twitter is finally allowing its users to spread their wings and expand their communication past the social media service’s renowned restrictions.

A series of changes will be made during the summer months that enable users to post longer messages with more interactive content.  Adding photos, GIFs, and videos will no longer count against the 140-character limit. Tagging users by their handles at the beginning of replies won’t count against the limit either.

Users will also now be able to quote and “retweet” their own previous tweets. In addition, when tweeting from one person to another, users will no longer have to place a period before the person’s user name. Now tweets to another person will be seen by the sender’s followers rather than just both users’ followers.

These adjustments are an effort to attract new users – a criticism that has plagued Twitter for three years. Before the company announced it was going public in 2013, officials reported that it had 200 million active users, defined as people who used Twitter at least once a month.

The New York Times reports that CEO Dick Costolo told employees he expected to get to 400 million users by the end of 2013.

In April, Twitter announced that it had an average of 310 million monthly users in the first three months of 2016.  Although that number is up from 305 million users in the last three months of 2015, it’s still below Costolo’s projections from three years ago.

In January, users rebelled against reports that Twitter was considering expanding the character limit past 140. Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, responded on the 10th anniversary of Twitter’s launch by denying the change.

Other adjustments to Twitter over the past several years include a direct messaging application added to the mobile phone screen and changing the “favorite” button to a heart-shaped “like” button similar to social media competitor Facebook.