I know I talk about Twitter a lot, but it is one of my favourite networks at the moment, and they’re making big changes but no one is talking about it!
You may have been too busy crocheting a new winter hat for your cat mittens (winter is coming, especially here in Vancouver…) and didn’t actually realize that Twitter made a big change to the character limit a few weeks ago on September 19.
Their tweet, “Say more about what’s happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters”, officially announced the change.
They actually teased this a while back in May, and no one has really mentioned it much since. And this latest announcement made was only through that tweet, so it’s safe to say that many people didn’t even notice. I’m actually surprised there was such little talk about it because it marks a pretty fundamental shift in Twitter’s willingness to change its core product and adapt to competition.
I’m excited about this because originally tweets used to be mostly text and you’d get your 140 characters to write – which wasn’t too bad. Then, people started adding links (taking up about 20 characters), then photos and videos (taking up another 20 characters), and also quoting tweets all decreases your overall count SIGNIFICANTLY. Now they’re giving you the ability to reclaim some of that – and according to the original teaser press release by Twitter, even more options in the future.
One of my core uses for this network are the Twitter Chats, I probably wouldn’t still be using the platform if it wasn’t for them – and while this is a small change, it has a big effect on the way you can interact during these conversations. I’ve already seen an increase in the number of GIFs and images attached to tweets used during Twitter chats. It has been elevating the level of personality, variety, and communication that people can use.
The extra media and characters have been making the conversations more lively and exciting! And it lessens the need to use multiple tweets with Part1 and Part2 etc in them for more complex ideas.
The secondary change, not including quoted tweet links in the character limit is a HUGE impact for Twitter chats as well. It makes it a lot easier to reference the original question when posting your answer, or simply bringing other tweets and conversations or media into the conversation without too much headache.
If you couldn’t tell already, I’m genuinely excited about this. I can’t wait for them to modify the @replies to not show up in the character limit as well – another huge impact for Twitter chats. Hopefully we’ll chat soon on twitter!