Twitter 140-Character Count To Change: Tweets To Stop Counting Photos, Links, Video

Twitter makes two changes to its 140-character count. Twitter

Twitter announced Tuesday morning that it will modify the 140-character limit for each tweet. While the microblogging platform will not be increasing the character count per tweet, it will be loosening the restrictions to stop counting @names in replies and media attachments.

“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,” wrote Todd Sherman, Twitter’s Senior Product Manager, on the company blog.

Twitter users will soon be able to save characters in two areas: when replying to tweets and when adding media. When users reply to a tweet, the “@names” will no longer count in the character limit. According to Twitter, “this will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.” Adding photos, GIFs, videos, polls or quoting tweets will no longer count toward the 140-character count.

Twitter's 140-character limit is changing soon. Photo: Twitter

Twitter first imposed the 140-character limit when it started so that tweets could be sent through mobile text messages, which then could only contain 140 characters. That purpose has since become obsolete and users have found clever ways to get around the character limit by taking pictures of longer text, using third party services that link to longer text and sending tweets in a string.

Twitter is also introducing two new changes to how users tweet. First, Twitter users can now retweet and quote themselves. Secondly, the “.@” function will be unnecessary as all new tweets that begin with a username will be broadcast to followers.

“These updates will be available over the coming months,” wrote Sherman. “Today, we’re notifying you and our developers, so that everything works as it should when we roll these changes out. The updates have a significant impact on Tweets, so we want to provide our developer partners with time to make any needed updates to the hundreds of thousands of products built using Twitter’s API.”

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