Summits Yellow

Twitter's Revised Rules Go Live

Tim Maytom

twitter on twitterThe revised rules governing how many characters users can include in a single post on Twitter have gone live, with the social network hoping the simpler rules will encourage more user engagement.

The new rules were announced in May, and include the fact that media content such as photos, videos and polls no longer count towards tweet character limits, nor does including other user names.

Twitter has faced stagnating user growth for multiple quarters, which has led to a sharp drop in investor confidence in the platform, and rumours that the service is seeking an acquisition.

Add in the leadership changes Twitter has seen over the past two years, and the network is in need of an unqualified win. Recent moves like acquiring the rights to streaming 10 NFL matches have been high-profile, but in the end it may be this less glamorous but more fundamental change to the service that helps turn around the company's fortunes.

Here's a summary of the major changes that have hit:


  • Media attachments – Attachments including photos, videos, polls, GIFs and quoted tweets will no longer count towards the character limit, enabling users to provide more commentary on media they link to. Straightforward links to other web content will still count towards the 140 character limit, however.



  • Retweets – Users will be able to use the Retweet button on their own tweets, reposting their own content both as a straightforward retweet or as a quoted tweet, and enabling them to share new reflections on previous tweets.


In addition, Twitter is changing the way replies work on the platform. When replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count towards the 140-character limit, no matter how many are including, making conversations between multiple Twitter users easier to carry out.

In addition, tweets that start with an @name will now appear on your followers’ timelines unless they are specifically replying to another users’ tweet, removing the need for the [email protected]” convention, but meaning that initial tweets to other users will no longer be semi-private. These changes have not yet been rolled out, but will be in the next few months, according to Twitter.

While the adjusted rules may see more users posting photos and videos, providing a richer media experience while using the app, Twitter has yet to provide any tools to help reduce harassment and abuse carried out via the platform, something it has been heavily criticised for following a series of high profile hate campaigns carried out against users.