Major news Twitter fans — the social network is set to tweak its renowned 140 character limit. If you were unaware, photos and website links currently use up valuable characters when composing a tweet. If you’re looking to drive people to a new webpage or make a post stand out more with a groovy image, at least 23 characters need to be kept spare.
BUT, that could be about to change. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Twitter is to scrap the feature. Links and images will no longer take up any of the characters — a step towards allowing users to write longer posts which has become a major talking point over recent months.
The 140 character limit has been in place since the micro-blogging site was launched way back in 2006. On the subject of the restricted characters, Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey is quoted as saying it “inspires creativity and brevity”. Which I agree with, it does — it means users need to be clever with words they use and the messages they want to get across. But working as a Digital Consultant at Whiteoaks, there have been a few occasions I really could’ve done with an extra couple of characters to play with!
So what will this move mean? Firstly, it will encourage users to use even more thought-provoking images, as well as wonderfully funny GIFs which complement pretty much any tweet at any time. Secondly, both individuals and businesses will be able to inform their followers of things in greater detail. You’d be surprised at the amount of information you can fit into 23 characters (or 46 characters if you’re looking to use both a link and an image). Dates, times and stand numbers at an event are key details I regularly have to include in tweets, but with other particulars also needing to be included, composing a post of this nature can turn into a major work of art!
Of course, with Twitter’s main rivals — Facebook and LinkedIn — this isn’t an issue. The character count on these sites runs into the thousands, allowing users to talk about all they desire, include images and links and then some, with no major threat of running out of room.
Although it is yet to be confirmed by Twitter itself, I believe this update would be welcomed the world over. In a time when people have an increasingly short attention span and individuals and companies fight to stand out, a move like this to encourage great use of imagery could be just what is needed.