Will Twitter actually give users back the characters taken up by pictures and links?
Earlier this week, an anonymous source told Bloomberg that Twitter will soon stop counting images and links as part of the 140 allowable characters. The company has yet to comment or make a similar official announcement.
23 more characters in tweets with links. It’s like Christmas for us long-winded microbloggers. https://t.co/ezvyTHBBWP
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) May 17, 2016
Since links currently take up 23 characters, the potential change could add some much needed breathing room for providing context to shared links and visuals. But that’s not nearly as much breathing room as reinstated CEO Jack Dorsey proposed in January—when the possibility of a 10,000 character max was discussed.
More opportunity for searchable text
Because text is searchable, the company seeks to make better use of how text is posted.
Dorsey noticed that to get longer messages across, users take screenshots of text in other applications and then upload those pictures to Twitter posts. That disconnect is partly where the 10,000 character limit idea came from, but the consequent uproar squashed the idea of anything drastically different.
Twitter’s penchant for brevity began because in 2006, the pre-smart phone era, text messages were used to upload content to the platform. The character restraints soon became their clear differentiator, forcing users to get creative in how they word their content and creating a need for link shortening services.
Giving back the 23 characters taken by images and links is a solution that fits in far better with the microblogging platform than allowing long form posts.
More text will allow users to better find what they are looking for. Search continues to be a function that all social media platforms want to improve and expand—as they become search engines in their own right.
The social media giant continues to exert itself as the chief authority in live streaming content, and some assume that no longer counting links and images towards the character limit will foster more visual content uploads.
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