Twitter is getting ready to give its users a bit more room for their own thoughts: The company is getting ready to exclude links and photos from its 140-character limit for tweets, according to a Bloomberg report. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.
Twitter inherited its original 140 character limit from its origin as a SMS-based app. SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters, and Twitter needed to leave some extra room for user names. However, these days, most people use Twitter through dedicated mobile apps, or the company’s website.
That’s why Twitter has for some time toyed with the idea to allow users to share longer content. However, many users value the brevity of tweets. Earlier plans to add a kind of long-form post format led to a huge backlash, forcing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to backpedal and promise that Twitter wouldn’t get rid of its 140 character limit.
Currently, Twitter uses link shorteners to allow users to share links and images, but each link still consumes 23 characters. That means that a tweet with two or three links barely leaves enough room for a short sentence. The same is true for photos posted to Twitter.
Exempting both from the character limit makes a lot of sense, and will actually help users put some of the content they share on the platform in context. It could also help Twitter sell more ads, as the same character limits apply to promoted tweets.