Blast past 140 characters thanks to new Twitter rule changes

Usernames, media, and more won't be counted in the tally anymore

Twitter was built for short, bite-sized missives about your daily life, existential thoughts, favourite snacks, and whatever else strikes your fancy. But even so, that space can feel awfully crowded at times.

Add in usernames of friends or attach images, video links, or polls and your precious 140-character starting count might actually be more like half that. Luckily, as rumoured in recent months, changes are coming that will give you a bit more room for your thoughts without dramatically changing Twitter's unique approach.

Today, the social media giant announced that certain elements will no longer take away from your character count, including other users' names, photo and video attachments, polls, GIFs, and quoted tweets from others.

That way, you can go nuts with media and still have 140 characters for text. Up to four photos can be attached to one tweet without cutting into the characters, or otherwise a single video, poll, GIF, or quoted tweet.

Other upcoming changes include eliminating the need to put a period before someone's name in a reply to let it be widely seen in timelines. Instead, you can retweet your reply and put it into everyone's feed - and you can retweet and quote your other tweets too, letting you create chains of tweets or resurface an old favorite tweet.

Some of this might seem like Twitter trying to overcomplicate itself, or focusing on relatively minor features while pleas for effective anti-harrassment tools are overlooked. But at least it's a move to finesse the 140-character limit rather than eliminate it, which would really change Twitter in a profound way.

The changes will apparently roll out "over the coming months," as today's announcement was meant to give developers a heads-up to make adjustments before the features hit everyone.

[Source: Twitter]