4 tips for tweeting like a pro with Twitter’s big platform changes

Twitter users will soon be able to expand the content of their tweets in four key ways, though the popular social media platform will retain its 140-character limit, the San Francisco-based company announced today.

Among other changes, @names placed at the beginning of a reply, or media such as photos, GIFs, videos, or polls embedded at the end, will no longer be included in a tweet’s 140-character count, the company said.

To accommodate these changes, the company explained in a May 24 blog post that each tweet will be divided into three regions:

  • A hidden prefix region which can accommodate one or more space-separated @mentions, and will be rendered not as part of the tweet’s display text, but as metadata;
  • The display text region, which remains 140 characters in length;
  • And a hidden suffix region which can include contain one (and only one) URL which is rendered as metadata rather than display text. Said URL must link to either an image, a GIF, a video, a poll, a quote tweet, or a direct message deep link.

So in practice, what does that mean for users?

Your tweets can be epic

Ever felt constrained by Twitter’s 140-character word limit, or strained your eyes trying to read an epic tale on the platform? Then the company’s new self-retweeting and self-quoting features are for you!

Instead of writing a series of tweets with numbers affixed to the end of them, simply quote or retweet yourself (neither of which count towards your 140-character count) until your social media short story (or novel) is finished.

Your captions don’t need to be cut short by images

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean one of your bon mots can’t augment it. With images no longer adding to your 140-character count, you can use all the space available to you to add the perfect punchline.

Wave goodbye to the [email protected]

Tweets that begin with another username will now automatically reach everyone who follows the user sending them, thus eliminating the need for the current “[email protected]” convention, which requires users to place a period before a username if they want a tweet seen by anyone other than viewers who follow both their account and the tagged user.

Tag dozens of users

And so long as the usernames at the beginning of a tweet are separated by a space, you can take as many as you like without making touching one of your 140 characters. Just don’t spam all of your followers at once.

Twitter hasn’t given a date for these changes, saying only in another blog post that they will be implemented “over the coming months”

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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