Entrepreneur's Take On Twitter's Latest Features The new policy exempts media attachments such as photos, videos and polls from the character limit, as well as tweets that are quoted in a retweet

By Ritu Kochar

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"Say more about what's happening!" said Twitter rolling out its new policy that will ease the 140-character limit, a feature troubling Twitteraties since the dawn of civilization. Implementing the announcement Twitter made this May, people will no longer have to cut down on their valuable words or spend longer than usual editing the tweet to fit with all your media attachments.

The new policy exempts media attachments such as photos, videos, and polls from the character limit, as well as tweets that are quoted in a retweet. Simplifying them, the following features are what Twitter introduced, trying to catch the attention of its user base which is slowly flocking away (more on that later):

  • Do not shy away from using the entire 140 characters in your text. Your opinions on the internet are what matters the most and those few words will make all the difference
  • To add to the feature no. 1, you get what they're calling "Twitter Bonus' (not really). But what's great is that now you can attach up to four photos or one GIF, video, poll, or Quote Tweet without losing any characters
  • The legendary ".@' the format is finally ditched to the relief of many who either considered it a typing mistake or wanted to send tweets that began with an "@username" to their entire audience. What's better than letting all the people know that you've corrected someone on the internet or their fact is wrong. Go Grammar Nazis!
  • Also, since @mention is evicted from the 140 character club, so you can tag up to 50 people. No more cursing under your breath how Facebook is better because it lets you tag all your friends in one post, eh?
  • If the selfie narcissism wasn't enough already, take it up a notch by Retweeting or Quote Tweeting yourself when you want to, and I quote, "share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed'. The social media site has enabled the Retweet button on your own tweets. Also, that's the only way everybody will be able to see your replies, so there's no saving from showing how smart you think you are. (Apparently, somehow that is better instead of using the dot @username thing)
  • RT and MT are ancient history. Using them will lower your awesomeness factor by 420 per cent

So there go all your major Twitter updates or more like Twitter's turnaround plan to save the sinking boat. This boat which has been sailing smoothly since 2006 probably met with an iceberg or two along the way this July when Twitter reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2013 and also provided a disappointing forecast.

Some slightly depressing facts about Twitter also include its declining popularity having lost 2 million users in the last three months of 2015. Moreover, by the end of 2015 Twitter had 305 million active users in contrast to Facebook's 1.6 billion. Ouch! As if the rumors of Twitter being on sale haven't been creating enough buzz.

More or less, Twitter's news policy is aimed at winning back a number of followers (the irony is thick here) and get some new ones too. Money is tight as Twitter's investors have come down to suing the microblogging giant over claims that they had misled investors on key growth metrics, including user base and user engagement. Adding to their dismay, Twitter is discontinuing global engineering work at its Bengaluru development center and is laying off employees.

Boy, time is not good for Twitter and to be honest, adding features such as they did wouldn't make a world of difference for them. They're allowing people to speak a little more and just a gentle reminder about that - don't we have Facebook for that already? People are getting bored of the whole social media thing anyway, so if you want to get that kind of attention again just giving a bunch of more words to people wouldn't exactly help. If Jack Dorsey has a master plan, I think it's time he used it.

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.

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