Twitter might be finally making a change everyone can get on board with: The ability to tweet links and photos that don’t count against your 140-character limit.
Twitter has toyed with the idea of changing its famously limited format for years, but has only made changes to
direct message length. According to
Bloomberg, within the next two weeks Twitter is set to make the change, which would still allow just 140 characters but would no longer count images or links against that limit.
The limit was originally imposed because tweets were primarily composed using SMS in Twitter’s early days. That 140-character limit quickly came to define Twitter, so the company has been loathe to increase it. But as the platform has added rich media like photos, videos, and links to tweets, it no longer makes sense to count those against the limit. A link, for instance, takes up 23 characters, no matter how long it actually is.
Studies show that media-rich tweets garner more engagement. But it’s also difficult to provide information about that media when it sucks up all your characters. For instance, when you summarize a link for people to click on, you only have 117 characters, which makes it that much more difficult to provide context.
And Twitter, as long as you’re making changes that will actually please users instead of enraging them, maybe consider adding an edit button. Even Kim Kardashian has asked for this.