Twitter Relaxes 140-Character Rules

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Expressing yourself fully in 140 characters on Twitter can be challenging, especially if photos, GIFs, videos, polls, and usernames are eating up valuable space.

But Twitter is now finally moving to fix that. As expected, upcoming changes mean that usernames and media attachments won't count toward your 140-character Twitter limit.

"This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward," senior product manager Todd Sherman wrote in a blog post. "No more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group."

Plus, users can soon retweet or quote tweet their own messages—for "when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed," Sherman suggested. While you can already "heart" personal tweets (because who doesn't love their own witticisms and Instagram photos), the option to retweet them is not available.

This update also says goodbye to the ".@" convention, used by many to get tweets directed at certain people tos how up in the timelines of all your followers. According to Twitter, new posts beginning with a username will automatically reach all followers. If you want to broadcast a reply, retweet it.

"One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler," CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement. "We're focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. That is what Twitter is great at—what's happening now, live conversation, and the simplicity that we started the service with."

The updates won't launch right away; Twitter is giving developers time to update their apps before a worldwide release.

"We're not giving up on the idea of Twitter being in the moment. That concept of brevity, speed, and live conversation—being able to think of something and put it out to the world instantly—that's what's most important," Dorsey said. "We're always going to look for opportunities to make tweets a lot more expressive, and enable people to say what they want to say. As long as things are fast, easy, simple, and expressive, we're going to look at what we can do to make Twitter a better experience."

Like adding "night mode" to its Android application. As reported by 9to5Google, Twitter is testing a dark mode, which swaps white for dark blue in the evening, and returns to white the next morning.

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