Social Media

Twitter confirms it will no longer count photos, links and mentions in 140-character limit


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

May 24, 2016 | 4 min read

Twitter has confirmed that it will no longer count links, photos, videos or mentions in tweets, giving users the freedom to compose longer posts.

First rumoured last month, the social network has now verified that it will make it faster and easier for people to express themselves on the platform by excluding attachments from its stringent 140-character count.

The social giant has said that the changes will be rolled out in the coming months.

twitter 140-character limit

Anyone tagging a fellow user via their @name will no longer be penalised on the character constraint front. Another change means any tweet beginning with an @name will be seen by all followers – these were previously only instantly viewable to users who followed both accounts in a conversation.

In addition, people will now be able to tweet and quote themselves to resurface old posts to coincide with current or trending topics happening online.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey, who promised to streamline the platform when he was reinstated last year said of the revamp: "One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler."

"We're not giving up on the idea of Twitter being in the moment. That concept of brevity, speed and live conversation – being able to think of something and put it out to the world instantly – that's what's most important," he added.

"We're always going to look for opportunities to make Tweets a lot more expressive, and enable people to say what they want to say. As long as things are fast, easy, simple and expressive, we're going to look at what we can do to make Twitter a better experience."

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From an algorithmic timeline and a GIF search function, to the introduction of curated news service Moments, Dorsey has introduced a raft of changes in his eight month tenure.

At the start of 2016 it was rumoured that Twitter was poised to ditch its hallmark character count altogether and give users the ability to post updates up to 10,000 characters long.

Today, Twitter asserted that it will continue to explore ways to make the service simpler and more intuitive, “without compromising the unique brevity and speed” that makes the social network stand out.

The site will be hoping that the changes will help it court new subscribers. It has made no secret of the fact that it's looking to boost its 310 million-strong user base, to quash investor concerns over slow growth.

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