Posted in: Opinion

Twitter to Relax 140 Character Count

15th September 2016

Twitter to Relax 140 Character Count

Twitter to Relax 140 Character Count

Twitter users rejoice! The Verge has reported that the social network’s iconic 140 character limit is set to be counted differently, allowing for extra characters to be used.

According to the American technology site, from this Monday (September 19th) Twitter will no longer include items such as links, photos, videos and GIFs within the 140 limit. Previously, these had taken up valuable characters despite adding no actual written content to a tweet. User handles when used at the start of a tweet are also said to be excluded from the new count limit.

These new measures are thought to be targeted at simplifying the service and increasing overall engagement, with Twitter recently finding that users retweet more when a tweet includes photos, videos or links.

Twitter on mobile

From a brand and marketing point of view, this can only be seen as a positive. Links will now not need to be shortened, tidying up messy tweets and page addresses, while allowing for more information to be included – ideal for call to actions and links to site pages. The move should also encourage the use of images, videos and other sharable content.

At the same time though, these changes still conform to Twitter’s unique and iconic character restriction which sets it apart from many other social media networks.

The new character count was first announced in May, although no launch date was given to the plans. Previous rumours of an expansion to 10,000 character tweets had been met with backlash from users.

This led to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirming any overhaul would not stretch to such limits, stating the 140 character limit is a “beautiful constraint” that “inspires creativity and brevity”.

Founded over 10 years ago, the popular social media service originally had no character limits, but soon after launch moved to its signature 140 limit in order to meet the 160 character SMS ceiling.

Twitter, who’ve been in a period of transition since its unsuccessful stock market launch in 2013, is struggling to attract new users and has a reputation for online abuse and trolls. It remains unclear, whether the new changes will occur simultaneously or over a period of time.

As social marketers, for ourselves and our clients, this revolutionary change to the character limit will lend us a helping hand when it comes to writing perfectly constructed tweets. We’re already seeing the benefits and we applaud Twitter for this beautiful transition. Thank you!

We’d like to know what your thoughts are on this, so feel free to tweet us @better_studio with the hashtag #140characters to join the conversation.

If you’d like more information on how we can help you manage your social presence, get in touch with us at studio@betterbrandagency.com or give us a call on 01642 989158.

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