New changes are coming to Twitter, giving users more room for discussion within 140 characters.

If you’re an avid Twitter user, you are familiar with the frustrations of replying to those who have long Twitter usernames. Users often have to jump through hoops to fit their content in the 140 character count limit that has defined Twitter since, well, nearly the beginning of the network. Twitter’s latest update will help make life a little easier by excluding usernames, or Twitter handles of other users, from the strict character limit.

This comes as no surprise – Twitter has been undergoing plenty of changes in 2016 to help make the micro-blogging site a user friendly experience for everyone. From launching a new Twitter Dashboard  to eliminating media items and external website links from the 140-character limit, now the social network is cleaning things up even more with testing out the removal of usernames form replies.

As a brand, how can you take advantage of this change?

  1. More characters to provide better customer service. This update will give your brand some more wiggle room when replying and interacting with your customers online.
  2. A chance to add some personality. With more characters to play with, it’s the perfect opportunity to add some personality to your brand’s tweets.
  3. A better opportunity to join in on the conversation. With “@” mentions eliminated from tweets, Twitter will be a much richer and cleaner experience, making it easier to jump-in on conversations going back and forth between multiple users.

Although this test has already caused a few problems with tweets not displaying correctly, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed “if you notice a tweet that includes more than 140 characters, the tweet may come from an account that is in a test group experimenting with our changes to the way replies happen on Twitter. When this change launches to the public, Twitter usernames will no longer be automatically included in tweet text and they will no longer count towards a tweet’s 140 characters.

So how will the new Twitter usernames update appear?

Techcrunch explains that replies will start with an empty text box, with just a little “In reply to Joy Ding and others” in grey text up above with the “others” linked. This could confuse some users into thinking they’re composing a tweet, not a reply. Tapping on the “others” link in the grey text reveals who you’re replying to in case you forgot, and lets you add and remove recipients.

Keep an eye out as these changes are expected to launch for all users in the coming months.

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