Twitter stopped counting username mentions in replies towards its 140-character limit, the San Francisco-based company announced on Thursday. In addition to allowing people more space to express themselves, the social media giant also designed the new feature with the goal of streamlining conversations on its online platform. As of right now, users who tap or click on the Reply icon will be presented with a slightly redesigned interface that doesn't contain the @mention of the username of the profile they're replying to. Instead of placing the username in the commenting interface, the name of the profile they're interacting with is placed above the text field and is preceded by a "Replying to" message. In that way, Twitter hasn't actually changed the way in which the text field counts characters but has overhauled its entire replying system.
The "Replying to" section of the new interface will automatically be populated with all accounts mentioned in the tweet to which you're reacting. Tapping this section in the Twitter app will bring you to another menu where you can remove some of the mentioned accounts but currently cannot add new ones. In terms of content consumption, the new system also cleans up your feed by a significant margin seeing how browsing long comment chains is now easier as tweets posted in reply to something won't start with strings of username mentions anymore. On the downside, the "period trick" some popular accounts used to make their replies visible to all of their followers has stopped working with this change. It was previously possible to put a period in front of a username mention and make your reply visible to everyone, which is what many users pointed out in response to Twitter's newly announced change. There's currently no information on whether the popular social media platform is planning to bring back this feature in some way.
Regardless, the new replying system started rolling out for both mobile and web clients yesterday and should already be available to users worldwide. Twitter already introduced some changes intended to make its character limit more flexible and less restrictive in recent months, so more similar features might be launched in the near future.