Twitter will not count media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) in its 140-character limit, and users can now share more in one tweet. The feature was confirmed in May, and it has rolled out on September 19, according the website. A tweet from the official Twitter handle confirmed this saying, “Say more about what’s happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters.” Usernames at the beginning of replies will also not count within the 140-character word limit.
Twitter CEO and cofounder, Jack Dorsey had said in May, “One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler… We’re focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. This is what Twitter is great at – what’s happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.”
With the new change, it’s now possible to say a lot more on Twitter and that’s a good thing given how the social media website has been struggling to boost growth and numbers. Twitter’s own survey this year had shown that while “ninety percent of people globally recognize the Twitter brand,” many have no clue of what to do with Twitter. The company had noted people don’t use Twitter as they were unable to understand what the product is for, with some thinking daily tweets are a must and thus choose not tweet anything at all.
Twitter has been stuck at the 300 million plus monthly active user base for sometime and it needs to boost user base as well as engagement on the site. Making it easier for people to tweet a little more while keeping the 140-character limit intact is just one such step in this direction.
Twitter also recently increased the character limit for private messages to 10,000 from 140, which makes sense given private conversations might have a longer conversation, and a user might not want to break it down into different messages with 140-characters each. Twitter also launched Stickers, and the ability to draw on pictures, similar to Snapchat, in an attempt to engage more users.
Now Twitter is getting rid of counting links, etc in the 140-character limit, in the hope people will say more on the site.