If you use Twitter for promotion you know that while the 140 character limit seems like plenty, it can decrease rapidly with the addition of a photo or link. Those days may soon be over as the company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140 character limit.
Currently links take up 23 characters, even if Twitter automatically shortens them, which means that you only have a very short sentence available if you use a couple of links, or a link and photo, in a tweet.
Twitter had recently contemplated increasing the number of available characters to as high as 10,000, but a user backlash stopped the motion in its tracks. There’s been almost universal applause among users over the latest proposal however. Then there’s the fact that quick and concise messages are the primary way that the service distinguishes itself from other services.
Why 140 characters in the first place? Twitter started its life as an SMS texting app in the days before smartphones. There was a hard limit of 160 characters available for a mobile text message in those days, and the company chose 140 as a way to keep some characters in reserve for the user name to be attached.
Lately Twitter has been making video a priority as part of its push for live events, agreeing to pay $10 million to the National Football League for the rights to stream 10 Thursday night games during the 2016 season. Twitter is also said to be working on more content deals for streaming sports, political events and entertainment as a way to possibly expand its stagnant user base.
Expanding the messages is also something that Twitter can use to help it sell more ads, as the same character limit applies to promoted tweets as well as normal tweets. Of course, keeping advertisers happy is a major concern (that includes artists and labels if they promote their tweets to their fan base) as many have recently taken their ad dollars to other social media platforms.