In the next few months, Twitter will make evolutionary changes to what it considers as characters in tweets. We all know that there’s a 140 character limit for all and every single tweet that goes out. But, in a huge announcement this week, Twitter let us all know that it’s extending the iconic 140 character limit, and letting our tweets breathe a little.

While it hasn’t removed 140-character limits completely, typical character munchers such as GIFs, photos, videos, polls will no longer count in the character limits of a tweet; however, links will still count. It’s important to note that @replies (reply to usernames) will no longer count toward the 140-character limit, an initial tweet with @mentions (username) will.

No more need to do that .@ thing you had to do if you ever wanted to start a tweet with a mention. Any tweet, whether it has a mention or not will reach your entire audience no matter what. To encourage even more conversation, Twitter is also adding a retweet button that allows you to retweet your own posts so they can resurface in a tweet storm.

With no more squeezing thoughts and abbreviating words, Twitter hopes to encourage more engaging, meaningful dialogue between users, especially photos and video posts, which currently take up about a standard 22 characters in tweets.

The new changes will be rolling out in the next few months; Twitter is giving third party apps some more time to accommodate the changes. Twitter also promises that it’s “exploring more ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones” – a feature that will allow users write longer posts that can be accessed by clicking on a tweet is rumored to be in future plans.