Up until now, your Twitter space was limited to 140 characters — and that included not only your actual message but also image attachments, @names and polls.

But that’s about to change.

Over the next few months, Twitter is introducing a few changes that will allow more space to say what you need to say in both text and visual form.

What’s Changing and How

“It’s been rumored for a while that Twitter is going to change its stringent 140 character rules, but they have finally confirmed it themselves, with several exciting new features planned,” says James Nuttall, copywriter and social media manager at Poles Direct.

The first of those changes, according to Nuttall, is the chance to say goodbye to ‘.@’ when writing tweets that begin with a username. “Twitter is now allowing all your followers to see these if you are tweeting with the intention of it being seen and shared, without needing to put a full stop at the beginning,” Nuttall says.

Keep in mind that this will only apply to public tweets, though. “If you wish to get in touch with someone on Twitter by tweeting them directly on their page, this will still be between you, maintaining your privacy,” Nuttall adds.

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Another thing that won’t contribute towards the word count? The recipient’s handle when replying to a tweet. According to Nuttall, this will make conversations easier and less restricted. “For bloggers and PR’s, it will mean more exposure to their projects and more visibility in general,” Nuttall explains.

Perhaps the most important change, however, is the fact that media attachments will no longer take space away from the character count. “GIFs, photo’s video, all of them will no longer eat into the characters, making room for plenty more words,” Nuttall says.

Taking Advantage of Changes to Grow Your Social Media Reach

When asked what factors are essential to growing your reach in social media, Nuttall says you have to engage with your audience. “Reach out to people in similar fields as yourself,” says Nuttall. “It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger or a business, interacting with other users who are in the same line of work as you will help to draw attention to your brand, not to mention drive engagement to your channels, build potentially useful contacts/relationships, and also gain followers.”

Also, don’t be afraid to spend some money on promoting your social media accounts. “Putting some money behind your social media accounts, particularly Facebook and Twitter, is an easy and quick way to reach more people and grow your following,” says Nuttall, who adds he’s not referring to buying followers but to promoting your message. “When we started to promote some of our tweets, some of which were about blog posts, others about competitions, our engagement levels and followers list soared.”