In a huge milestone for Twitter today, it was confirmed that images and links will no longer subtract from the total character count. This marks a major shift in the creative freedom allotted to tweeters who frequently reference media outside sources. The public was originally alerted to this possible change by an unnamed source earlier in the week.
From the beginning, Twitter has prided itself on being the network to go to for snippets of information by limiting the character count to 140. Seen more as a news ticker than a full-blown content generating machine, Twitter “wraps” every link with its own auto-shortened URL, reducing the character count by 23. Originally, The 140-character limit was put in place because creator John Dorsey expected most people to send tweets using the SMS text-messaging function on their phones, and many carriers at the time restricted text messages to 160 characters. (source). The reasoning behind keeping it, was to limit the amount of malicious links, according to Twitter.
Influencers with a score in our top 1% are likely to utilize this change to redirect traffic in-between their multiple Social Profiles.
Why change now?
This update will bring expand Twitter’s target audience to more visually focused users, ones that at the moment may have felt drawn to Instagram or Pinterest, where visuals rule all. In addition, it will help eliminate the problem that users have been using to solve in order to display more text. Some are already using images that contain more text as an alternative.
This change will also work together with Twitter”s recent effort to make video a priority as part of their push for live events. Links can be used to direct to other streaming services such as Youtube, or completed videos can be uploaded directly to twitter without the tax of 23 Characters. This means a huge change for influencers looking to promote their content. Connect with the top influencers on Kred.
What’s Next for the Little Blue Bird?
The 140-character limit has been baked into the DNA of tweets from the very beginning. This change shows the ability Twitter to respond to needs and requests from the customer base already using the product, along with those who hesitate to become involved with the tech, for fear their voice will be limited.
Possibly next on the table? Twitter is also tinkering with the idea of changing its reverse chronological timeline — another core feature. (source). They also teased the idea earlier this year of raising the limit to as many as 10,000 characters (not likely after this change). As the platform continues to evolve and grow, this year will no doubt show a resurgence of imagery on Twitter.
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