Twitter changes up rules for 140-character limit

You can go crazy adding photos, videos and GIFs to your tweets now.

Feeling a little cramped in your tweets?

Twitter has a solution for you, without exactly lifting its 140-character limit.

The company announced in a tweet today that media will no longer count in the long-standing 140-character limit on tweet limit.

“Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters,” Twitter tweeted out today.

For a while now, people have been speculating that Twitter, which has been trying to gain a little more traction with its user base, would increase its character limit.

Maybe a simple 140 characters just wouldn’t be enough to say what needs to be said or to get across nuances.

Some even guessed the company might offer up a 10,000-character limit.

The question was how to get users more engaged without turning them off by reading long-winded and dense tweets.

This, according to Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, is an answer.

The actual character limit hasn’t been changed -- but what counts toward that limit has.

“I want the limit to be consistent and I don't want to be calculating whether I can add other media and still get my message across. This is simpler,” he added. “Just increasing the limit raises the issue of whether there is a limit, and no limit makes Twitter into something else entirely. This is tuning up their offering, tweaking it to make it a little bit better. It doesn't change things very much, but it is an improvement.”

For Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, being able to add media content to tweets -- without it counting against your character limit -- should make for more interesting tweeting… and reading.

“Media matters a lot. Adding media makes a big difference to people noticing and reacting to a tweet,” he said. “Users know to get people to notice what they are posting, they need to add rich media.”

Being able to add GIFs, photos and videos more liberally and without character consideration should increase user engagement.

Will that, though, be enough to increase Twitter’s user base and give its current users a kick start?

Gottheil isn’t so sure.

“I think it's marginal,” he said. “It will make users slightly happier, but no one will choose to use Twitter because it got rid of this minor annoyance.”

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags twitter

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?