The 140-character limit is something that defines Twitter, right up there with egg display pictures and hashtags, but could it be about to disappear from the social media service forever? A few months ago, Twitter revealed it was planning to kill its famous hard character limit, and now we might have an execution date of a softer version.
According to a new report by The Verge, Twitter is going to start changing how we tweet by 19 September. Although Twitter will still keep the 140-character limit it’s become known for, media attachments such as photos, GIFs and videos won’t count towards it. In the plans unveiled several months ago, Twitter also said @usernames wouldn’t count when you reply either. The result? You’ll now have the same amount of room to talk to other Twitter users, regardless of how long their handle is.
Twitter didn’t give us a deadline when it first unveiled the changes, but The Verge has since spoken to two sources close to the company’s business. Although The Verge says plans for the rollout aren’t 100% fixed, it looks as though Twitter will start pushing the changes to users next week.
Twitter finally gets something right
When Twitter first unveiled these plans in May, they seemed like a great idea – and four months down the line, I’m of the same opinion. In the past, Twitter has tried to move too fast and managed to alienate its users in the process – take the favourites/Likes situation, for example – but I think these changes enhance the service for the better.
The 140-character limit might be dead as we know it, but it’s not totally disappearing. The new changes just mean we’ll now be able to involve multiple people in threads while still having access to 140 characters. You know, actually take advantage of the cool things Twitter already lets you do, without being penalised for it. Simply put, Twitter will still have its quirks, but now they won’t get in the way of engaging with other users.
Of course, it does mean a spambot could theoretically tag every single account on Twitter with a link, but I’m sure they’ve thought of this eventuality…