Founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey has made yet another move in a bid to help the network stand up among it’s competitors by allowing images and URLs to be discounted from the iconic 140 character count. Although a minor change it is nevertheless one that represents a departure from the “internet of words” and has been well received by users – many of whom are agog that it’s taken this long…
Until now when Twitter users included a photo, GIF or URL in their tweets, regardless of Twitter shortening links, 23 precious characters have already been used up, leaving them with only 117 characters for their actual message. This means that yet another layer of restriction is added to their already restrictive 140 character count.
The move to discontinue factoring URLs and images is a welcome one as it represents an understanding of social media’s having evolved from a primarily text-based medium to one that is awash, and indeed enriched, with a variety of different styles of content.
It’s unclear just how much of an impact the change will have on re-engaging Twitter’s dwindling user base but either way it certainly brings an air of the network tidying up what were originally their defining features. This is a change from completely departing from them which has been evident in some of their more controversial changes.
Good news for all users – but Twitter, please don’t go any further…
Relaxing the character count allows brands and businesses to share their content and gives them bigger leeway to share a richer, more evocative story. However, as social media powerhouses Facebook and YouTube begin to muscle in on the world of live streaming (a style of content that Twitter has quite openly been relying upon as a driving force for the network’s success), there is a distinct possibility that this could be expanded further down the line.
As avid Twitter users, we are urging the network not to depart further from the 140 character count than this! The character count is a defining factor in Twitter communication and doing so would cause them to lose their USP.