Twitter co-founder says new changes aim to make platform 'simpler'

Twitter is aiming to simplify tweeting to make it easier for users as the social media platform’s audience growth has stalled over the past year.

Planned changes will focus on increasing tweet capacity, while retaining the 147-character limit, and making the platform more intuitive.

“One of the biggest priorities for us this year is to really refine our product, to make it simpler,” Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey told the BBC.

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“I think there’s a story to be told about what Twitter’s for, and to continue to strengthen why you would use Twitter.”

The changes won’t be made until later this year, so developers have time to adapt their products accordingly. They include:

  • Images and videos will not count towards the overall character count
  • @usernames in replies will not count towards the overall character count
  • Users will be able to retweet themselves and quote their own earlier tweets
  • Any new tweet that starts with an @username will be seen by all of that person’s followers.

This last change aims to do away with the need to put a full stop, as is now common practice, or other character ahead of an @username when tweeting to avoid limiting the reach to followers of both the tweeter and the user mentioned in the tweet.

“It doesn’t make sense to anyone,” Dorsey said. “And people have had to work around it. That just looks ugly, and it’s confusing.”

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