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Twitter Expands Character Count


May 25th, 2016

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen a reports popping up of a possible change to Twitter, and a big one at that. Rumors floated that Twitter, known for its strict adherence to 140 character count per tweet, would be changing the policy.

When the rumors first started circulating earlier this year, loyal Twitter users rapidly voiced their negative opinions. Twitters CEO Jack Dorsey quickly took to the platform to explain that there would be no drastic change.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 4.00.27 PMTwitter has made several changes over the years including the switch from a “favorite” button to a heart shaped “like button in hopes to increase engagement, a direct message button, and the inclusion of gifs. Though, the biggest change thus far was the introduction of an algorithm. While at initially they received backlash for altering the Twitter experience, the majority of users kept the feature, despite the option to turn it off. That being said, Twitter has been hesitant to implement any major modifications for fear of scaring off their user base.

This week Twitter announced that they would indeed be amending the 140 character policy, but not in the way that was originally expected. Firstly, tweets will no longer include media, including gifs, photos, polls, and videos in the 140 character limit. This means the user can use their character count for the actual message, instead of conflicting with the character count.

Secondly, mentions will not be included in the character count to resolve a specific problem many Twitter users encounter. When a more and more people chime in on a Twitter conversation, more and more usernames are included in the tweet. Eventually, either the @username either has to be deleted, or the thought has to be broken up between several tweets.

For social media marketers, this is huge. More time and effort can go towards developing a strong message, instead of focusing on keeping the message brief. While Twitter still maintains the short and sweet sentiment that ultimately defines the platform, it also gives users the room and the freedom to express themselves more.

Twitter announced that the changes will be implemented “in coming months,” but have not given an exact timeframe yet.

 

Written by Madison Kiernan, Social Media Specialist

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