Twitter @replies no longer burn your character count

By

You now have a full 140 characters to vent.
You now have a full 140 characters to vent.
Photo: Twitter

There’s more room to rage the next time you reply to a Tweet from President Donald Trump.

Twitter made a yuge change to replies so that @usernames won’t count toward the 140-character limit.

Users can now tap on “Replying to” and the @username will go above the Tweet text instead of within, which should provide an extra word or two for rebuttal or support.

“It’s now easier to follow a conversation, so you can focus on what a discussion is about, and who is having it,” Product Manager Sasank Reddy wrote on the Twitter blog Thursday in announcing the immediate update. “Also, with all 140 characters for your replies, you have more room to participate in group conversations.”

The Tweet tweaks are aimed at raising engagement with Twitter, which has seen its growth in usage decline while its main competitors, Instagram and SnapChat, are booming. Last fall, research firm, eMarketer, called Twitter’s growth “stagnant” and projected it would add less than 4 million users in the U.S. by 2020.

Twitter ended 2016 with 319 million total users. Instagram surpassed 600 million last year and SnapChat, popular with teens and millenials, had 158 million.

Even Trump’s Twitter account dominating headlines throughout a division presidential campaign did little to attract many new users, according to the website recode.

“Twitter continues to struggle with growing is user base because new users often find the product unwieldy and difficult to navigate which makes it challenging to find long-term value in being an active user,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said in August. “(New) product initiative have had little impact in attracting new users.”

Reddy said Twitter’s “work isn’t finished” as it seeks to simplify the user experience. The update is now on twitter.com as well the iOS and Android apps.