Twitter Launches New ‘Threads’ Feature for Tweetstorms

Twitter today announced the launch of a new "Threads" feature, which is designed to link multiple tweets together to make them easier to read.

Twitter users often share multiple numbered tweets on a topic or idea, and this practice is generally referred to as a "tweetstorm." With Threads, two or more tweets can be linked, simplifying and streamlining the tweetstorm concept.


When you create a tweet on Twitter, you can use the "+" button to add more tweets to the original tweet in the compose window. All of your tweets can be drafted ahead of time and then sent out at once using the new "Tweet All" button.

Tweets can also be added to a published thread using the "Add Another Tweet" button, and when browsing Twitter, there's a new "Show this thread" label that makes it easier to find a series of linked tweets.

Twitter says that the new Threads feature is designed for people who want to serialize a longer story or thought or provide ongoing commentary on a particular event or topic.

Threads is the second major change that's been made to Twitter in recent weeks, following a decision to increase the character limit from 140 to 280 characters to give Twitter users more room to express themselves.

Twitter says the new Threads feature is rolling out to iOS, Android, and the web "in the coming weeks."

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Tweetbot for iOS Gains Support for New 280-Character Tweet Limit [Update: Mac App Too]

Just a day after Twitter officially rolled out support for its new 280-character limit for tweets, popular third-party Twitter client Tweetbot has been updated with support for the new feature.

Tweetbot users who have Tweetbot for iOS installed will now be able to take full advantage of the new character limit once the app update has been installed. Tweetbot has not yet updated Tweetbot for Mac with support for the new feature, but an update should be coming soon.

Twitter started testing the new 280-character limit in late September before rolling it out globally yesterday. The updated character limit is available for all languages with the exception of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as those are not affected by what Twitter calls "cramming."

According to Twitter, during the testing period, most people with access to the 280 character limit continued to share tweets that featured under 140 characters, so the company does not believe the new limit will "substantially change" timelines for most users.

Right now, since the feature is new, there is an uptick in the number of people testing the 280-character limit, but Twitter believes that will die down within a couple of weeks.

Tweetbot can be downloaded from the App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link]

Update: Tweetbot for Mac has also been updated with support for the new 280-character limit.


Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Rolls Out Expanded 280 Character Tweet Limit Worldwide

Twitter today announced that the 280 character limit for tweets that it introduced back in September is being rolled out to all Twitter users. The new 280 character limit, which doubles the existing 140-character limit, is available for all users and is being implemented for all languages where "cramming" was a problem.

Tweet with traditional 140-character limit on left, new 280-character limit on right.
In September, we launched a test that expanded the 140 character limit so every person around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet. Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter. Looking at all the data, we're excited to share we've achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue.
Twitter said that it noticed people who were using Twitter in English would hit the character limit more often than tweets in languages like Chinese and Japanese, which is why the company ultimately decided to raise the character limit. The changes are rolling out to all languages except for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

According to Twitter's analytics, most people with access to the 280 character limit continued to share tweets that featured under 140 characters, leaving the "brevity of Twitter" intact.

Only 5 percent of tweets sent out were longer than 140 characters, and only 2 percent were longer than 190 characters, so Twitter believes the new character limit should not "substantially change" timelines for most users.

280-character tweets have been limited to a small group of users since the end of September, but the feature is rolling out to everyone starting today. When the new limit is activated, the tweet interface on the web and in the Twitter app displays a circle that gradually fills up as you type rather than a numbered countdown.

The new Twitter character limit is already available to many users who did not previously have access. Twitter warns that there may be an uptick in novelty tweets and tweets using the full character limit as the feature rolls out, but the company expects this to die down over the course of the next week or two.

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Updates Apple TV App With Handoff-Like Tweet Interactions Between tvOS and iOS

Twitter today announced an update for its tvOS app, which allows you to pair your Twitter account on an iPhone or iPad with an Apple TV, and easily access Tweets on your iOS device that you see scroll by on the TV app's live feeds.

The Twitter app for Apple TV focuses on live-streaming video, which you can display simultaneously with a scrolling list of user Tweets in a split-screen mode. Since it's difficult to engage with Tweets on the TV app, the new update lets you jump directly from a Tweet on the Apple TV to your iPhone or iPad without having to search for a specific Tweet.


All you need to do is make sure your iOS device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV, then open Twitter for Apple TV and long press for three seconds on the Siri Remote. This will bring up a menu where you can link your iOS device to the Apple TV Twitter app.
From Twitter TV product manager Ryan Troy: “People love to Tweet while watching their favorite TV shows because it allows everyone to experience what’s happening together. This update combined with Twitter’s daily programming that’s shaped by Tweets from the audience helps enable true interactive TV.”
Afterwards, you'll be able to send any Tweet that you see on the live timeline on Apple TV to your iPhone, where you can quickly reply, like, Retweet, and send an image or a GIF. Twitter said the feature will work with any of the Apple TV app's live broadcasts, which cover sports, entertainment broadcasts, and other live events.


Twitter for Apple TV is available to download from the tvOS App Store for free.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: Twitter
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Adds ‘Happening Now’ Feature to Recommend Events and Topics

Twitter today announced the addition of a new "Happening Now" feature that is designed to surface customized recommendations for tweets about a particular topic or event that's going on in the world.

Events are displayed at the top of the Twitter timeline in the Twitter app, and clicking on one of the available events displays a list of tweets that are grouped up by event.


Twitter is rolling out the Happening Now feature for sports-related events to start with, but it will expand to other types of content in the future. It will eventually highlight tweets about live video, TV, and breaking news.


Happening Now joins other tools to surface non-timeline tweets like Moments and Explore. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Twitter spokesperson said the feature is meant to make it easier to find conversations about events users are interested in.
"There's so much happening on Twitter all the time, but it could be easier to find events you are interested in, and the conversation around those events, in the moment," the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "If we know you are a Giants fan, we can guess you'd love to see the conversation specifically around a game. All this content already exists on Twitter - with Happening Now, we're collecting it and making it simpler for you to find it in one place."
Happening now is available on Android and iOS devices starting today.

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitterrific for Mac is Back: First Impressions and Comparison With Tweetbot

Twitterrific for Mac is back.

After raising over $100,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year, The Iconfactory today has released an all-new, completely reimagined version of the desktop Twitter client on the Mac App Store [Direct Link] for $19.99.


The Iconfactory said its goal was to deliver a minimal Twitter client, like the original Twitterrific for Mac, but with a feature set that caters to how people use Twitter in 2017, as opposed to 2007.

Only eight months have passed since the crowdfunding campaign began, so some key features are still missing at launch, but The Iconfactory promises they will be added in subsequent updates to the app.

I was provided with an advanced preview of the brand new Twitterrific for Mac over the weekend to try out, and I've gathered some of my first impressions as a longtime Tweetbot for Mac user herein. Continue reading Twitterrific for Mac is Back: First Impressions and Comparison With Tweetbot

Twitter App Disappears From Apple Watch Following Latest iOS Update

Twitter last night updated its iOS app to version 7.8 to patch a bug that prevented users from uploading photos in high resolution, but the same update also appears to have removed the company's companion Apple Watch app from the App Store. As noticed by users on Reddit and Twitter, after updating the Twitter app on iPhone the Apple Watch app has subsequently vanished, and Twitter has yet to comment on whether or not the app's removal is permanent.

On Apple Watch, Twitter users could view their timeline to browse recent Tweets made by people they follow, check out top trends, and Tweet directly from the Apple Watch using a voice-to-text feature. Now, any mention of Twitter offering an Apple Watch app has been removed from the app's page on the iOS App Store.


MacRumors forum members pointed out earlier this week that the Twitter app on Apple Watch began crashing and had trouble displaying the Twitter icon on notifications following the launch of watchOS 4. This means Twitter could be working on the app behind the scenes to get it up and running again for the new operating system on the Apple Watch, but it's also a possibility that the app is gone for good.

If it is, Twitter will fall in line with a series of high-profile Apple Watch apps that have pulled support for Apple's wearable device this year. Over the course of a few months in the first part of 2017, Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay all quietly removed their Apple Watch apps from the App Store without many people taking notice until May. Google and eBay said the move was to rework the apps and debut new versions later, which has yet to happen.

There are still some third-party Twitter clients with Apple Watch support, including Tweetbot and Twitterific. If Twitter comments on the removal of its Apple Watch app, we'll update this article.

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Testing Expanded 280 Character Limit for Tweets

Twitter today announced that it is going to "try out" a longer character limit, doubling the current 140-character limit to 280 characters.

The 280 character limit is going to be available in languages that are "impacted by cramming," aka all languages aside from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

Tweet with traditional 140-character limit on left, new 280-character limit on right.

According to Twitter, most tweets in English have 34 characters while most tweets in Japanese have 15 characters, and Twitter users tweeting in English hit the 140-character limit more often, which can be a "major cause of frustration."

Twitter says the new character limit is "only available to a small group" of users at the current time as it gathers data and feedback on the impact of the change. It won't roll out to all users until Twitter is sure that it "works" for the Twitter community, but Twitter is hoping 280 characters will "make it easier for everyone to Tweet."
We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters - we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.
Twitter has had a 140-character limit in place since the service first launched in 2006, so a character expansion is a major change to the way Twitter works.


Before considering a character limit expansion, Twitter made several other changes to give customers more room to share their thoughts. Starting in 2016, photo attachments, GIFs, polls, and other media stopped counting towards the 140-character limit, and in March, usernames no longer counted towards the limit.

Customers randomly selected to be part of Twitter's beta testing group will be able to use 280 characters in their tweets starting today.

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Night Mode Now Available on Desktop

For the past few weeks, Twitter has been testing a Night Mode option for its desktop site, and as of today, the new Night Mode feature is rolling out to all Twitter users.

Designed to turn the Twitter interface darker to make it easier to read tweets at night, Night Mode can be enabled by clicking on your profile photo and choosing the "Night Mode" option from the drop-down menu. Turning it off is as simple as clicking the Night Mode setting a second time.


With Night Mode enabled, the traditional light colored interface is made darker with a black overall background and a darker blue background for tweets. Because Night Mode is enabled manually, it will stay activated until it's turned off.

Night Mode has been available on iOS devices since August of 2016 through the main Twitter for iOS app.

Night Mode on the desktop is currently rolling out to Twitter users so you may not see the option under your profile right away.

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums

Twitter Rolling Out Tweets Organized by ‘Popular’ Topics, Based on Your Interests

Twitter this week began expanding a new section of the Explore tab on iOS and Android, where it will populate tweets aimed at each unique user based on their own interests. Twitter confirmed the update's appearance to BuzzFeed, and it follows a few months after Twitter debuted a notable redesign for its mobile apps and website.

The new categories in Explore include topics such as "Popular in Literature," "Popular in Video Games," "Popular in eSports," and more, with tweets taken from a combination of accounts followed and not followed by the user. Like other quiet updates, some users may have noticed these changes weeks ago, while others will just begin getting them now, and they can be found by tapping the magnifying glass "Explore" tab on Twitter's iOS app, then scrolling down below Trends and Moments.

Twitter said that these topics will be "based on what they know about your interests," but it wasn't made clear exactly how Twitter gains that information, although liked tweets and followed accounts are likely sourced. The company said that it will "eventually" give users more control over this section and allow them to tell Twitter when they don't want to see a specific topic, further helping the app curate personalized tweets.

Now you can view tweets sorted by topic, without having to follow anyone, right in Twitter's Explore tab.

Twitter's algorithms will show you these topics based on what they know about your interests. Eventually, the platform will give users more control over what they see, the spokesperson said. The company will roll out controls that allow people to tell it they don't like a topic, which will inform Twitter's decisions on what to show them.
The update is said to be another bid by Twitter to smooth the introduction process for new users, presenting them with their favorite topics in lieu of making them scroll through a lengthy list of suggested accounts that might tweet about topics they enjoy.

Many recent Twitter updates have focused on gaining and retaining users just joining the platform, including a switch from "favorite" stars to "like" hearts in 2015. Twitter also tested out changing the "retweet" icon into a "sharing" icon late last year, hoping that "share" would be more recognizable and understandable by new users than Twitter-specific lingo like "retweet," but the change never rolled out to a wider user base.

The troubled introduction of new users onto the platform was a problem highlighted during Twitter's most recent earnings report, where it was announced that the social network hadn't grown its user base at all in the second quarter of 2017.

The new "Popular" topics feature is expanding globally this week on Twitter's mobile apps, and users can download Twitter for iOS on the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: Twitter

Discuss this article in our forums