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Business News/ Tech-news / News/  What the Twitter character count tweak means for you
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What the Twitter character count tweak means for you

Twitter is reportedly tweaking its 140-character limit to stop counting links and photos

Removing the character requirement for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to their posts, according to the report. Photo: AFP Premium
Removing the character requirement for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to their posts, according to the report. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Social networking company Twitter is reportedly tweaking its 140-character limit to stop counting links and photos, “a step in a larger plan to give more flexibility on the site", Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Twitter, the report said, could roll out the change within the next two weeks. While links (shortened or otherwise) currently account for 23 characters out of the 140 offered by Twitter, a typical photo post takes up 20 characters.

While it retains its core product feature i.e. the 140 characters, the change essentially would allow users to send more media (pictures and videos) as part of their tweets. Pictures and videos, according to Twitter’s own findings about tweet engagement, averaged a 35% and 28% boost in retweets, respectively.

“Removing the character requirement for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to their posts," the Bloomberg report said.

Reports about Twitter tweaking (or rather expanding) its character limit aren’t exactly new. Over the last six months, several news reports have hinted at Twitter changing some of its core product features to appeal to new users. In January this year, tech website Recode reported that Twitter was considering expanding its tweet character limit to 10,000 characters, significantly higher than its current 140. Dorsey was quick to clarify in a tweet that featured a screenshot text, writing, “We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people," Dorsey wrote.

In March, however, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey put an end to those rumours, stating that the character limit was here to stay. “It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us and it allows for of-the-moment brevity," Dorsey said.

Since Dorsey returned as Twitter CEO in October last year, the platform has seen several changes, including the introduction of the ‘Moments’ feature, a tab on the mobile applications, where users could find tweets about the day’s biggest news stories or events. Besides, the interface also saw a change, where the erstwhile favourite (now Like) icon was changed from a star to a heart.

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Published: 17 May 2016, 12:21 PM IST
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