Twitter considers character limit changes

Posted on May 19, 2016

 

Microblogging site Twitter has recently suggested that it could change the way in which its iconic character limit works.

Reports suggest that the Californian enterprise will no longer include links and images in its 140-character tweet limit. This will allow users to expand their tweets by adding characters they would not otherwise have access to.

It is believed that this move is part of the company’s strategy to make tweets bigger and content richer without compromising its well-known limit. By removing links and photos from the limit, it could give users up to 47 more characters to play with. Usually, links within tweets take up 23 characters, with images taking up a further. Considering that the limit is 140, this can give users a feeling of limited freedom.

The move is one that does not surprise some, as it is not the first time that Twitter has pondered extending its character limit. Earlier this year, the company was considering drastically upping the textual boundary to 10,000 characters. It had already trialled this with its direct message feature in the summer of 2015 by removing the limit altogether, but this proved to be a step the company wasn’t willing to make for the main section of its site. Character limits are one of the most symbolic features of Twitter, and is one that has been present on the site since its inception back in 2006.

The original idea behind Twitter’s limit was so that tweets would be able to be sent and received from mobile phones, back in the days where our screens were smaller and SMS messages were also limited to 140 characters. Over time, this handy little feature had evolved into the defining aspect of the whole platform.

According to Bloomberg, one of the first sources to report on the potential changes, this update could be put in to place within the next couple of weeks, showing that Twitter isn’t messing around when it comes to improving the site’s functionality.

This change could impact the way businesses approach tweeting. Many businesses who use the platform as a marketing tool often put links in their tweets to various products and pages on their websites in an attempt to divert potential customers to the site. This generally takes us plenty of characters in a tweet, meaning that the tag line to go with it has to be even shorter and snappier than 140 characters.

The news would be welcomed by many businesses who could no doubt put the extra characters to good use, because there’s nothing more annoying than having to chop off one character and commit a grammatical sin to hit that limit.

Alan Littler

Account Executive at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Account Executive.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] rumours about the company introducing a more relaxed approach to its character limits came back in May, so the move does not come as a surprise to many. Although an official date for the update has not […]

    Pingback by Twitter to relax character limits Engage Web — September 14, 2016 @ 2:44 pm

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