Brace yourselves; a new Twitter update is coming. Users are rarely excited about updates, particularly ones that usher in major changes to their favorite social media sites, but believe it or not, this one actually sounds great. In fact, the new Twitter updates will affect parents, in particular, in really positive ways. They're all about getting the most out of those 140 characters and increased visibility — something all Twitter users can get behind.
Perhaps the most exciting detail about the new updates is what will no longer be included in the character limits: names and media. That means that when a user replies to a tweet and the handle they're tweeting at is automatically populated at the beginning of the new tweet, they'll still have the full 140 characters left for typing. It also means that including a picture, gif, poll, video, or quote in a tweet won't reduce the amount of characters they're able to include; the photo's URL won't be counted.
And there's also good news for people who want to make sure everyone sees what they're tweeting. Tweets that begin with a handle will no longer be visible only to the user they're addressed to, and users will soon be able to quote or retweet their own tweets that didn't get enough love the first time around. So what does this mean to the average Twitter mom or dad?
More Space For Captions
Sure, we know this video features a cute cat and a crying baby. But who are they? What's going on here? Wouldn't this video benefit from a more descriptive caption? Now, we'll be able to tweet, "Just laid Absythe down for a moment when she started fussing. Lucky for me, Loki was on top of it! Look how much he loves his little sister!"
No More Vague Polls
Did you know that simply creating a poll currently uses up 24 whole characters? That's nonsense! How are we supposed to crowdsource our parenting advice when we can't even make the questions and answers complete sentences? I didn't even have space to add the options, "Because he's gifted, and he's very concerned about climate change," or "Your breast milk tastes like kale."
More Eyes On Tweets
Sark, you are not wrong. Bhateeja is freakin' adorable, and yet only a fraction of your followers liked (loved? hearted?) this picture. It's not because the rest of them disagree; it's because they weren't on Twitter the day you posted the pic. But here's a solution: retweet it! Retweet it daily! Retweet it until every single one of Twitter's 300-million-odd users sees those pudgy little cheeks and confirms that yes, you made an excellent baby! Life affirmed!
We Can Chat With All Our Friends At Once
Ever get into a long Twitter conversation about parenting, but find that as more people join in, there's less room for actual words? Now, you can address that tweet to as many users as you please, and still get your full thought out.
Currently, tweets that start with @ aren't showing up in anyone's feed but the person who's attached to that handle. Users can work around that by starting a tweet with a period, but that's a little try-hard. Now we know that the tweet, although directed at one person, was really meant for everyone's eyes. But with the new update, all users will see every tweet. That means that parents can humiliate their teens and tweens by tweeting at them about the dirty underwear they left in the bathroom, and still have plausible deniability.
Stories We Can Actually Follow
Sometimes parents have very long, interesting stories about parenting. Sometimes we have stories that aren't so interesting, but they're still long, and we're still going to share them, because we're cooped up with a toddler all day and Twitter is the only connection we have to other adults anymore. But Twitter makes it really hard to share them, and "contd" or "1/17" can only do so much. We're not all Zola; nobody's jumping to Storify our tweets. But the new update lets users quote their own tweets, and quotes don't go against character count anymore, so basically, you get two tweets for the price of one. Go on and tell us about all the highjinks little Flayden got up to in Whole Foods, girl. We're listening.