Twitter is well-known for it’s quick-fire tweets, hashtags and Twitter trending. However, it’s also unique in a sense that every message you tweet has to fit their specific character count of 140 characters. When you understand the value of those characters, each one becomes precious!
For years, devoted tweeters have been cramming their messages into short tweets, feeling triumph when they manage to stay within the limit, only to have their bubble burst when they realise they’ve left out the image and/or web link they’re referring to. Before one of the most anticipated Twitter updates in 2015, both images and web-links cost 23 valuable characters! Yes, 23/140! (That’s 32% of your character allowance). Images, GIFs and media no longer costs you characters but unfortunately web-links still do to this day.
Another bug-bear of ours was that if you “replied” to a tweet or “quote with retweet”, anyone you wanted to include in the message you wrote (eg. @SocialProgress) even if they were already included within the original tweet, their twitter handle (@SocialProgress) would also eat up your characters! Not fair, right?!
Well, the latest and anticipated Twitter update (which Esther literally found this morning – so this is hot-off-the-press!) had released a load of character-counting pressure from tweeters all across the globe!
Twitter handles no longer count towards the character limit when replying to tweets. AND you can choose who receives a notification if you don’t want to reply to EVERYONE included in the original tweet! Awesome ey?
Below we’ve given you a bit of a visual explanation as to how it works…
1) Esther composed and posted a tweet (original tweet) – note that she’s included @SoProJanet and @SocialProgress in the tweet.
Then @SocialProgress received a notification to say “@SoProEsther has mentioned you in her tweet (as usual).
2) When @SocialProgress hits “reply” to tweet back to @SoProEsther, you may or may not have noticed that the reply box has changed slightly…
So now, instead of @SoProEsther and @SoProJanet (who were mentioned in the original tweet – see point 1) being included within the actual reply tweet message, they appear above the message box: “Replying to @SoProEsther and @SoProJanet”. This means that both @SoProEsther and @SoProJanet would receive a notification about the reply although they’re not directly included within the reply tweet.
This is what the reply now looks like when posted:
(Note that the reply tweet now says “Replying to @SoProEsther @SoProJanet” above the tweet text itself)
What’s more exciting is that this means that it doesn’t affect the character limit! There’s more characters to play with and freedom for tweeters everywhere!
3) Here you can see what the reply tweet looks like when the accounts included in the reply are notified about the tweet.
So now you may be asking “what do I do if I don’t want to include everyone from the original tweet in my reply?” There IS an answer:
A) Click to reply to a tweet. Compose the tweet and then click on the blue text above the reply tweet box which says “Replying to _________” (in this example it’s @SoProEsther @SoProJanet). It will open another box – see point B…
B) You can then untick the accounts that you don’t want to include in your reply. The accounts you leave ticked will receive a notification about this tweet. Then click the cross and it’ll take you back to the reply tweet box to finish composing your reply tweet.
C) It will change the “Replying to _________” to match the accounts you left ticked. Or if you untick all of the accounts, the reply will simply just notify the account which posted the tweet you are replying to.
Hopefully this update is music to your ears as much as it was to ours! Have you had a go? If so, do tell us what you think – does it give you more freedom to tweet the messages you really want to or has it just confused you further?
Although we’re super grateful for the latest Twitter update, all we’re waiting for now is for URL links to be “free” from the character count! Will this be the next Twitter update?