As Twitter evolved from a purely text-based platform to a network that embraces photos and videos, the 140 characters limit has become more and more of a headache. Writing something interesting and informative in 140 characters can be challenging enough, but when you included an image, that was reduced to a maximum of 117 characters. Since you’d further have to subtract links and @names, many tweets were actually closer to 90 characters than to 140.
Earlier this year, Twitter announced that they are thinking about moving away from the 140 characters limit and while that has not happened yet, Twitter has now started rolling out changes that will give a little more space to users within the existing framework.
As a first step, links to images, gifs, videos, polls and quotes no longer reduce your character limit. These changes have already been rolled out this week.
Say more about what's happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters. pic.twitter.com/I9pUC0NdZC
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 19, 2016
In the next step, Twitter will take a closer look at @mentions. While a date hasn’t been confirmed yet, a few details have already emerged:
- @mentions at the beginning of a tweet will no longer count against you character limit, which means you could include 20 @names at the beginning of a tweet and still have 140 characters.
- Twitter will merge/hide multiple @mentons at the beginning of a tweet to ensure they remain readable.
- Tweets starting with @name will now be shown to all your followers. Previously only the @name account holder would see these tweets in his timeline. This makes the workaround of using a period before the @name obsolete.
What do you think about these changes? Please leave a comment below.