Stretch! Twitter’s 140 Character Changes: Implications for Community Managers


Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

Just a few weeks ago, Twitter announced changes to the way the 140 character limitation in tweets will be implemented. We’re excited about these changes because as Twitter says, it will allow for more impactful messages on Twitter while preserving the fast and instantaneous communication that the social network is known for.


So, let’s run down the changes and talk about the implications for community managers or anyone who regularly communicates on Twitter.

Replies. When replying to a person or group on Twitter, using “@username <message goes here”> will no longer count towards the character count in a tweet.

For community managers, this is great news because it enables us to say more when we reply to a person or group of people on Twitter.

It’s still a best practice to take complex customer question off to DM or a private email conversation, but the new replies implementation is a gift.

Attaching media to a Tweet. Now, when we attach a GIF, video or image to a Tweet, the attachment’s link won’t count towards the 140 characters.

For community managers this means, again, that we have more room for words! So now we can express more in our outbound communications.

Re-Tweet and quote your past tweets. Soon, you’ll be able to quote or re-tweet your past tweets. This will be useful for community managers because we can now add additional thoughts to a past tweet or re-post materials that went un-notice the first time they were posted. 🙂

For community managers, this likely won’t be used that much. But, for those brands that are ok with being humorous, they can use this facility to poke fun at themselves when the situation is appropriate.

No more .@replies. This new change will impact tweets that start with a @username. It used to be that tweets containing a username at the front were only seen by mutual followers of the account sending the tweet and receiving it. Now, those tweets will be seen more broadly.

For community managers, this means that you can send proactive messages more broadly. Again, this is a feature that won’t likely be used that much by corporate community managers. If you desire to broadcast a reply that you’ve sent to an individual, best practice would be to Quote Tweet yourself.

Changes Coming: We’re Prepped

For our customers, these changes will mean that soon, tweets will be more than 140 characters. Some apps and services might be adversely affected, but because our data team at Sysomos is the best, we’re ready for the new change and can easily handle the change when Twitter implements these changes of the coming months.

Are you excited about the new changes? Which specific change will impact your business the most?

Leave a Reply