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This article was published on October 27, 2016

Twitter is testing relaxed character limits for replies

Twitter is testing relaxed character limits for replies

Last month, Twitter made a major change to its platform: It stopped counting media attachments like photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and quoted tweets toward the 140-character limit per tweet.

TechCrunch found that the company is now testing another way to let users say more in tweets. In a limited trial for some users on mobile, Twitter is no longer counting usernames against your character limit in replies.

That means that when you’re responding to a single user or a bunch of them, you’ll be able to reply with all 140 characters. That marks the sinking of the Twitter canoe, which refers to a string of user handles that you see in a tweet when multiple users are in a group conversation.

It’s worth noting that this is only being tested with a small group of users at the moment, and it’s only on Twitter’s mobile apps; the Web app and TweetDeck don’t support it yet. Plus, it’s only for replies and not fresh tweets.

It might need a little refinement, though. If you’re used to seeing your recipient’s handle pre-filled when composing a reply, the empty text field might be a bit confusing. A tooltip or animation might help clarify things for users who are encountering this feature for the first time.

We’ve contacted Twitter to find out more and will update this post if there’s a response.

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