Twitter Loosens Its Character Count Restrictions - Social Media Explorer
Twitter Loosens Its Character Count Restrictions
Twitter Loosens Its Character Count Restrictions
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Well, it’s finally official. After weeks of speculation, Twitter announced today that photos, videos, GIFs, and Quote Text will no longer count against the 140 character limit imposed by the platform.

It’s important to note that this announcement doesn’t mean you get any MORE than 140 characters to work with (Twitter apparently toyed with that idea already). It just means that all 140 of your allowed characters can be completely devoted to your pithy prose without having to account for a link once required for images, videos, and the like. General links to third-party content will still take up 23 characters of the total, precious 140 available.

This change may provide some additional motivation for people to tweet a little more, or try out new ways of tweeting with slightly more content in each tweet. It remains to be seen, however, whether this change will have an impact on Twitter’s declining user growth trend.

With upstarts like Snapchat now surpassing Twitter in daily active users, Twitter is under pressure to retain (regain?) its relevance in an age where new shiny social media objects pose constant competition for attention and eyeballs.

Twitter is no doubt hoping this new iteration of its feature set will be more widely used and adopted than its recent Snapchat copycat feature called Stickers.

What do you think? Is Twitter moving in the right direction or has it already #JumpedTheShark?

About the Author

Don Power
Don Power is a Senior Digital Strategist with Renegade LLC, and Co-Managing Editor of SocialMediaExplorer.com. When it comes to content marketing, Don's been the Cyrano for a variety of organizations and delivered The King’s Speech himself from a host of stages and platforms across North America. Don extends an open invitation to connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • Meleigha Millman

    Not sure how I missed this, but I actually had no clue that media elements such as photos, videos, GIFs, and quoted tweets aren’t counted against the 140 character limit. This is a great way for Twitter to actually be a limit of 140 characters instead of these elements depleting from the character count. I believe this will allow for better tweets period. This is because with the right addition of content to a tweet, the context of that tweet can be heightened. This can then drive more engagement per tweet.

  • Chandler B

    I think this change is a start for Twitter. Allowing posts to exceed the 140 character count only for picture links, videos etc, will be beneficial primarily for businesses. This allows them to post more content within one tweet. With a steady decline in users though, I feel as if Twitter needs to start making changes to their platform other than just a slightly higher character limit. Social media is constantly evolving, and like you said, they need to come up with something to retain or regain their users.

  • Melissa C

    This move will be extremely useful to companies, who often need to include information both in text and in associated media all within one tweet. I myself have found this previous restriction extremely frustrating because “text speak” doesn’t really go with the tone I am trying communicate through the account I manage, however I am forced to use it sometimes or forgo the tweet altogether because it simply can’t fit with the picture/video I need to accompany it. Removing this restriction has certainly been needed for a long time, but I fear that Twitter is still cruising the downhill slope at this point.

  • I like this move (and I’m glad they didn’t go totally rogue with the limits). I wonder if it will spur people to create/experiment with longer Twitter handles, now that it doesn’t impact the character count?

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