Most of us use Twitter to post short messages about our daily lives, random thoughts, inspirational quotes, favourite snacks, and so many more. Nevertheless, the space can feel awfully limited at times.
Add in usernames or multimedia (such as images, videos, GIF, polls as well as quote tweets ) and it’ll eat into the 140-character limit. Luckily, changes are coming that will allow Twitter users more room to tweet without using up the valuable characters.
“Over the past decade, the tweet has evolved from a simple 140-character text message to a rich canvas for creative expression featuring photos, videos, hashtags, Vines, and more. So, you can already do a lot in a tweet, but we want you to be able to do even more. In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters,” Twitter product manager Todd Sherman said in a statement.
The changes, as outlined by Twitter, are as follows:
- Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count.
- Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the “.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.)
- Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet.
- Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: They’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself
To quote Andrew Hayward, up to 4 photos can be attached to one tweet without cutting into the characters, or otherwise a single video, poll, GIF, or quoted tweet. These changes are certainly going to be a step forward for the social media service.
People wouldn’t want to spend time remembering the rules of Twitter engagement. They don’t want to mention 2 usernames, add an image, and only have 5 characters left. Thus, making it easier for Twitter users to post photos and videos is a smart move. Soon, you’ll get 140 characters just for text alone. The rest is Twitter’s problem.
However, contrary to several reports, links will still count towards the 140-character limit count.
Hey William! Links will still count for characters, but attaching photos, videos, GIFs, polls and Quote Tweets won't.
— Twitter (@Twitter) May 24, 2016
So when are these changes taking place? Twitter isn’t offering any specific time other than “over the coming months”.
UPDATE (20th September, 12:35pm):
Great news Twitter users! The social network company is finally relaxing its 140 character limit.
As aforementioned, media attachments such as images, GIFs, videos, and polls will no longer be counted against the valuable 140 characters that make up a tweet. The same goes for quotes and retweeted messages, but keep in mind that links to another tweet still counts.
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
Twitter will also extend this latest update to @names, giving users more room for discussion when replying to others. However, it’s only available to a selected group of users for the time being.
What are you waiting for? Start tweeting away ;)