Twitter's 140 Character Update
Finally, some of the promised changes to Twitter’s famous 140-character limit have been implemented. The frustration of trying to write a tweet short enough to accompany a photo is now eased after Twitter excludes photos, quoted tweets and other items from the 140 characters allowed for a tweet.
The proposed changes were announced in May, and intended to reflect the fact that tweets nowadays include much more additional material, such as polls and GIFs, than when they were comprised of simply text.
What media no longer counts towards the 140 character limit?
Now, when you add a photo, GIF, video or poll to your tweet, it will not count towards the 140-character limit. A quote tweet, which displays somebody else’s tweet within your own, will also not count.
Media which still counts towards the 140 character limit:
Embedding an image or video hosted elsewhere rather than being uploaded through Twitter, such as a YouTube video, will still count towards the character limit.
A link to an external site, such as sharing a blog post or news article will still reduce the number of characters left in your tweet.
Usernames still count towards the 140 character limit although this might soon change. Twitter is planning to remove them from the 140-character limit in replies, and will be testing the feature in the coming weeks.
Will the 140 character limit remain in place?
Twitter’s original 140-character limit was created to be in line with the 160 characters of text messages, with space for a username, when users were meant to text their tweets from a phone in 2006. The latest changes are part of a series of moves introduced since Twitter founder Jack Dorsey rejoined the company as chief executive last year, designed to make the service easier to use. This has included allowing users to retweet themselves and Twitter polls.
It has been speculated by many over the last year that the 140 character limit might be lifted or changed. However, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey says there are no plans to abandon the character limit, describing it as a "beautiful constraint".