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Twitter’s new replies are a total nightmare

Twitter’s new replies are a total nightmare

by spainops
in test
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Leave it to Twitter to spend almost a year testing a new feature only to have everyone instantly hate it.

That’s what happened with the service’s latest update, which changes replies so they don’t count against the platform’s 140-character limit.

On its face, that sounds like a good thing — you’re able to get a few extra characters in for the actual tweet, rather than wasting space on users’ handles. But, once again, Twitter’s execution missed the mark — despite the fact they’ve been testing the feature for almost a full year.

Now when a user replies, the handles are surfaced inline above a tweet, rather than within the tweet itself. That doesn’t sound so bad — but, as Twitter is quickly finding out, it’s resulted in one pretty huge flaw.

Because Twitter now doesn’t count usernames toward character limits, people can use this as a way to spam other by adding dozens of users to a reply at once. Yes, Twitter’s rules prohibit this type of behavior but it’s still happening. 

This issue is made worse by the fact that tweets like this inevitably set off a chain of replies which triggers an endless wave of notifications for those tagged in a thread. Though Twitter allows you to mute conversations, doing so becomes much more difficult when there are multiple conversations related to the same thread happening simultaneously. So your only real choice in these situations is to filter your notifications, which may cause you to miss some tweets you might actually want to see.

It’s also confusing for people since it’s more difficult to tell who a reply is directed at in the first place. 

Other users are concerned the changes could lead to more abuse.

And, as with most major Twitter updates, everyone is still really upset there’s no sign of an edit button. 

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