For those that struggle with the brevity of 140 characters on Twitter, the social media site has just answered your prayers. Well, kind of.

How can Twitter up the 140 character limit without losing its USP? Through a handy little trick: Twitter is set to remove account names from the total character count in replies. That means that if you’re replying to someone, their name is automatically removed from the whole process. In plain English, you’ll have more space for a Twitter rant but may at times forget who you’re ranting at, which kind of feels like business as usual to be honest.

The move comes following Twitter’s recent assessment of how the company could ease the site’s character limit. Removing Twitter handles from a user’s Tweets is slightly less drastic than a proposed 7,043% increase, floated last January.

The company also recently lifted character limits on GIFs, videos and images, though links do still add to the total.

However, Twitter can’t seem to catch a break with these character count overhauls. Much like a controversial tweet, the company is already facing a backlash on proposed changes.

As Professor Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote on Medium, Twitter’s handle redesign makes it more difficult to combat harassment on the social network. The last thing Twitter needs is more harassment, but the social network appears uncompromising on the changes.

So why put people through this? Twitter’s product manager Sasank Reddy explained in a blog post: “In our tests of this new experience, we found that people engage more with conversations on Twitter.”

For those that are optimistic about the change, Twitter’s handle-free update is set to roll out next Thursday. So if you’re an enthusiastic Tweeter, maybe now is the time to plan how you’ll use those few extra characters.



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