A Twitter update Monday greatly enlarges the capacity of a so-called “Twitter canoe” — the string of user names included in a reply to a tweet — which seems like a bug, but maybe not?
Here’s why: Twitter’s update no longer counts a username toward the 140 character tweet limit, so one could tag dozens of people and still have 140 characters for their tweet. Usually only a handful of users could pile into a tweet (are you seeing the canoe imagery now?) before the 140 character limit. Now, it’s more like an infinity canoe.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey explain in a tweet that the update offers “a cleaner focus on the text of a conversation instead of addressing syntax.”
Going forward, the usernames of anyone tagged in a tweet will be displayed above the rest of the tweet’s text. The “replying to” button will allow people to see anyone else attached to the Twitter thread.
The benefit is that the conversation becomes more inclusive. A group of Twitter users numbering in the dozens can now all join the same conversation thread. The drawback, however, is that a group of Twitter users numbering in the dozens can now all join the same conversation thread.
Your friends who put too much emotional value into their Twitter brand will have the power to bother connect with even more people even more of the time. It won’t be surprising if Twitter makes some tweaks to this new update in the form of tag limitations within the near future.