Twitter Relaxes 140 Character Count

Twitter Announces Changes May 24th 2016

24/05/2016: Twitter has announced key changes to its platform including the removal of names and media from the restrictive 140 character count. No specific launch dates have been announced, however it’s expected that changes will be introduced over the ‘coming months’.

Updates will enable users of the micro-blogging platform to:

  • Show more: photos, film clips, polls etc. won’t cut into  the 140 characters
  • Space to chat: characters will be kept for conversations not usernames
  • Say it again: the ability to RT or quote tweet tweets and replies,  a nifty development intended to let users ‘resurface their tweets and add new commentary’ according to Twitter.

As twitter explained today on its own blog  –

You can already do a lot in a Tweet, but we want you to be able to do even more. In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.

Who does this impact in Ireland? According to IPSOS/MRBI Social Networking Tracker April 2016, social media account ownership for Irish adults aged 15+ is as follows: Facebook 64%, Twitter 29% and Google+ 27%.

More detail on the key changes:

twitter changes announced May 24th 2016

Users may welcome these changes intended to make twitter more expressive, faster and simpler to use, however there are those who enjoyed the challenge of expressing themselves in 140 characters are less.  This was after all what set twitter apart from other social media platforms. On the other hand, twitter has been criticized for being slow to introduce changes. All of this could have positive implications for social customer care, client interaction and brand exposition. Time will tell as updates are rolled out to apps and websites in the coming months.

About the author: Suzanne Shaw, MBA, is an independent marketing professional with 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing business development, marketing and communications strategies, working in a wide range of sectors and businesses, from startups to SMEs to not-for-profits. Suzanne is first and foremost a practitioner and, having picked up useful bits of knowledge from mentors and colleagues along the way,  is happy to share her insights.