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

Finally.

Twitter’s 140-character limit is essential to its existence, but the company realizes how annoying it can be to trim your thoughts when composing a reply because the person you’re chatting with has a long username. Twitter has decided to no longer count a username toward your 140 characters, a change now rolling out to its iOS and Android apps as well as Twitter.com.

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, at long last.)

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 Thursday 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. Big Blue just completely changed the look of your News Feed to include Stories, a brand-new way to share content on Facebook, and Twitter is just now making it possible to use all 140 characters in a reply. Meanwhile, Twitter users are still clamoring 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, which is a good sign. But Twitter needs to speed up its product changes to satisfy its existing users and attract new ones.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twitter

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Caitlin McGarry

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?