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Twitter’s changes will change the way you tweet

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Twitter was rumoured to be contemplating eliminating photos and videos from its trademark 140-character limit.

After a lot of ifs and buts, Twitter has now officially announced this move will be taking place – albeit still ambiguously – over the next few months.

And the photo and video character omission won’t be the only significant change, demonstrating Twitter really is serious about evolving its offerings to keep pace with its social media rivals.

1) Media attachments

As mentioned above, videos and photos will no longer be counting towards the 140-character limit. Also joining them in the character bin are GIFs, polls and quote tweets. Out of all its alterations, this is potentially the most consequential, as Twitter’s USP is undeniably in its brevity. Will more room for words be a positive or negative move?

2) Replies

Remember the frustration of multiple-party conversations? By the time you’d tagged all the relevant accounts in your tweet, you were more often than not left with a handful of characters to play with: certainly not enough to make a valid point or spark debate. Very soon, @names will no longer count towards your tweet count, a move that few will argue against.

3) Retweet and quote tweet yourself

Potentially huge for brands wanting to re-promote an especially good tweet they feel may have gone unnoticed, users will now be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves. Tweeters were previously restricted to liking their own tweet, so this move will make sure an important update is less likely to buried on a user’s timeline.

4) Goodbye .@

Sometimes a tweet sounds best when it begins with a name, yet adding @name at the beginning of a tweet counted as a reply, and was therefore omitted from most users' timelines. The workaround was to insert a full stop before the user’s name, forcing the tweet onto timelines. The ability to start a tweet with a profile name is another positive move by Twitter; the .@ was ugly, and few will miss it.

The majority of these changes are undoubtedly positive for Twitter. They’re small gripes, but the very nature of Twitter means that even 20 liberated characters will give brands a wealth of added freedom. In a recent Twitter poll, we asked whether the media attachments change would ultimately be a good or bad move for B2B brands.

Although a small poll is obviously not indicative of an entire industry's opinion, the fact almost three-quarters of respondents seemed onboard with the media attachments change alone suggests the majority of B2B brands will embrace Twitter's transition.

How are these alterations likely to affect your social media marketing strategy? Let us know @MarketingB2B, or in the comments section below.