A godsend for all tweeters struggling with pithiness: Twitter will stop counting photos and links towards their 140-character limit, Bloomberg reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.
By removing any disincentive to jamming your tweet with more photos and video, Twitter might be making a move parallel to what Facebook has done recently to nudge users to share more “personal content,” which, like all content, exists solely to be monetized.
Though Twitter currently auto-shortens links, they can still occupy up to 23 characters. If you’re a lay tweeter and this all sounds inane and abstract, you’re probably better off for it, but in case you want to understand this rumored update:
That’s where you’re at before having added a link. Look at the character limit next to the Tweet button—55 characters left to use. Now paste in the link that you wanted to comment on, and:
You’re all the way down to 31 characters, despite adding nothing of “substance”—no quips or puns or hot takes—just a URL leading to whatever you wanted to share. But in about two weeks, if this report is correct, you’ll still be at 55 after pasting in that link, and you might be able to better use all that space to slather some spicy new adverbs onto your little missive into the void.
Unlike previously discussed changes to the social platform—like expanding the character limit to a nauseating 10,000—this one seems relatively inoffensive and unlikely to alter the essential character of the site or alienate loyal users.