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Usernames No Longer Count in Twitter's Character Limit

Twitter have made a small, but crucial tweak in the way their 140-character cap works. Previously, usernames (or '@ tags') figured into the limit of a tweet, but now that's been changed. This means two things - firstly it means that you have a few extra precious characters to express what you want to express to your fellow users, and secondly it means that you can effectively @ tag an unlimited number of other people in a single tweet. Hmm.

Twitter has its fair share of spammers, and unlike on Facebook, you don't need any kind of mutual connection with someone to tag them, you just need their handle. So, imagine for a moment that you log into your Twitter, only to met with a nice, shapely mound of notifications saying that you've been tagged by a procession of automated accounts, all vying to direct your attention to some service, event or product which you have no interest in.

Nauseating, isn't it? Well it doesn't stop there. This opens up a whole range of increasingly grim possibilities, the worst of which is the idea that we might start seeing a kind of 'chain mail' culture develop on Twitter.

On Facebook, all those 'share or u die at midnight tomoz' posts are fairly easy to ignore, provided you aren't one of the idiots who did the sharing. With this, you'll be notified every time someone uses your handle, even though it'll probably be one of about 50. Once people start realising that they can tag people en-masse, things will soon get chaotic.

When this become apparent, Twitter may end up scrambling to introduce new restrictions to stop people from abusing this newfound ability, but it's a very nearsighted move on their part. Brands blanket share content all the time, and any social media worth their salt knows that @ tagging gets way better results than hashtagging. If you happen to be on the radar of any branded Twitter accounts, prepare to be overwhelmed.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Usernames No Longer Count in Twitter's Character Limit Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, April 03, 2017 Rating: 5

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