Twitter has announced that it will stop counting links and photos in its 140 character limit policy. Right now, a link counts for 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens it.
Twitter has said that this new development is part of a larger effort to give site users more flexibility. Over the years, Twitter-savvy users have worked around Twitter’s limits by posting screen-shotted pictures of text, or sending out multiple rapid fire tweets to get post their thoughts entirely.
In the past year, however, as the company has found it increasingly hard to gain mass appeal, Twitter has started offering ways to help users enjoy a better experience on the site. One such attempt was “Moments,” a feature that curated all the top news on Twitter, so users would not have to dig through all the clutter in their feeds to find top stories.
Earlier this year, the company considered raising its limit to a 1000 characters, as it has already done with its Direct Messaging feature, but has since decided against the move. Executives have cited Twitter’s unique place in social media as a “live” website as the main reason for not doing so. Raising the limit on characters would allows users to take more time with their posts and would diminish the company’s reputation as a rapid-fire news source.
The company has instead embraced video as the solution to its mass appeal problem. For example, in April the company paid the NFL $10 million in deal that lets the company exclusively stream Thursday night football games during the 2016 seasons. According to Bloomberg, Twitter plans to make more deals like this in the future, always focused on live events.
As the company refuses to make more than a few concessions on its 140 character limit, it will have to find new avenues to gain users. Could video be the future of Twitter?