Twitter has always been known for limiting tweets to 140 characters since it was launched in 2006, but the messaging platform has also been trying to relax its restrictions since 2016. It eased the limit further when the company announced on March 30 that Twitter handles will no longer count against the limit.
As mentioned above and in our previous story, @usernames in replies no longer count against the 140-character restriction in the platform to simplify conversations. Part of the change is that @usernames will just be shown as “Replying to…” above the response tweet so that users can just go straight to reading the message instead of seeing @username before each message.
The company says that this move will allow Twitter users to focus on the topic and responses, as well as participate in group discussions more efficiently.
The Undesirable Effect
As with everything in technology, even welcome changes can have bad effects. Some people have already begun testing the limits of the update.
We all know that trolls will be trolls and this new update from Twitter just allowed them to annoy more people in the platform – and it doesn’t even count against their 140-character restriction!
William Turton of Gizmodo tested out the feature with the intention of showing how bad Twitter’s solution is. He was able to push the limits of both the new update and many people’s patience. Just how exactly was he able to “accomplish” this feat? Simple: by tagging as many people as he can for absolutely no reason.
“I was able to tag 50 people in a single Twitter thread, and made a lot of people very annoyed at me in the process,” Turton writes.
@WilliamTurton @ashleyfeinberg @HeyVeronica @johnjcook @andyorin @samfbiddle @scoutstout @jktrotter @tomscocca @_grendan @annamerlan @katiedrumm @pareene @suryamattu @ryantate @hamiltonnolan @seanspicer @realDonaldTrump @hudsonhongo @kellybourdet @Alex_Dicko_ @ryanvailbrown @jawnita @jordansarge @kellyconaboy you are killing my feed please stop
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 30, 2017
To be fair, Turton was not the originator of the annoying tagging “game” but he did carry the torch when the initiator got bored with it.
Perhaps the good effect will outweigh the bad, but we’re pretty sure spammers and trolls would take advantage of this annoying discovery – at least until the company works something out to prevent people from abusing it.
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