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Twitter to get tweaked - but is it enough?

After months of speculation, Twitter has announced that it is to change its rules to enable users to write longer Tweets.

Rather than change its brand-defining 140-character message length, the company has announced new rules that allow @names and media attachments to be included outside of the character length restrictions. As a result, Twitter users will be able to write longer messages.

The key changes are:

  • When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count;
  • Attachments (such as photos, GIFs, videos, polls or Quote Tweets) will no longer count as characters within a Tweet;
  • Twitter will be enabling the Retweet button on users' own Tweets, so they can Retweet or Quote Tweet their own messages to get more exposure;
  • Replies that begin with a username will no longer need the @ symbol in front of the username.

According to Twitter, these updates will be available "over the coming months". The company is giving advance notice so that its developer partners can make the necessary updates to the hundreds of thousands of products built using Twitter's API.

Despite its high-profile status, ten-year-old Twitter has struggled to find new users in the past few years.

Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey told the BBC that his aim was to ensure that "when people tweet, it makes sense". He added: "One of the biggest priorities for us this year is to really refine our product, to make it simpler."

But he added: "We're not giving up on Twitter being in the moment. That concept of brevity, that concept of speed. Being able to just think of something and put it out to the world."

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