David Papp Blog

Twitter loosens the 140-character tweet limit

In an effort to be more competitive in the social networking space, Twitter is removing some restrictions on what counts towards their 140-character tweet limit. People agree that the brevity in posts is what makes Twitter great and soon images, videos, and people’s Twitter usernames (@account) will no longer count. This is great news!

Facebook has 1.65 billion users at last count and no character limit, definitely a social network that Twitter “competes” with. Twitter is celebrating 10 years with 310 million users. Twitter is hoping to re-ignite more user growth with these changes.

16 thoughts on “Twitter loosens the 140-character tweet limit”

  1. Uhm, it’s funny I am reading this now, because some days ago I was commenting on here that I thought the character limit is one of the features that would make me want to join Twitter. Funny to read they are going to loosen up this limit… I can understand why they think this is a good move, but if they do it because Facebook has way more users… I don’t think that is a good reason. Because they have to consider that even though Facebook has over 1 billion users… a big percentage of them aren’t half as active as most users on Twitter. Plus most celebs prefer Twitter for a reason 😉

    • I was in the exact same situation. The pure content of the tweets still stay 140 characters, you just don’t need to factor in the usernames and whatnot. I’d say it’s a quality improvement.

      • It definitely is a quality improvement. I have used Twitter for 5 years now and one of the biggest issues was always that you would often have to remove people from the conversation in order to stay under character limits. This is a big deal as far as making Twitter more user friendly while still maintaining the fundamentals of Twitter at its core.

  2. I think that this is a great thing, I used Twitter for a year about three years ago I think, and probably one of the things that bothered me the most was the text limit, it was frustrating when you needed to “cut” words down just because of that… but at the same time, will Twitter loose its recognition when it comes to how fast it was? sometimes short comments were just the right thing when you were reading them.

    • I do agree, sometimes you just want to read or say something short and snappy. Will increasing the character limit lead to an increase in pointless ranting?

      • I’m not really sure about this, I think that it depends on the person and thanks god we still have the option to follow only people that we want to read, I guess that we need to select who we follow… on the other hand, I think that it won’t increase the character limit to a point that is annoying to read things on Twitter, I guess.

  3. Interesting post, David! I just can’t hope thinking that Twitter will lose its sense of uniqueness with this change. I mean, when I think of Twitter, I think about people being creative with their 140 characters. This limit changed how people communicated through online social media, and I guess this modification to it will change it all over again.

    • I know, there was this guy @fun_pro who used to post code for complete working processing programs under the 140 characters limit. That was mind blowing.

      Still, these changes Twitter has implemented seem great, the content is limited to 140 characters but now users don’t need to worry about usernames, images, video and links.

  4. For a number of years now Twitter has been struggling and they’ve been trying everything to get more people to get on Twitter and nothing they tried worked.

    This decision to loosen the 140 character limit certainly is great but I don’t know if this tweak will solve Twitter’s problems.

  5. This is interesting, I used to use Twitter quite frequently but got annoyed by it because the 140 characters was so limiting. I haven’t posted anything on there for about two years now so this ight actually encourage me to start using it again.

  6. I think that’s good, removing some useless limitations that made typing on Twitter harder while still keeping the one thing that makes them different, the character limit. Twitter is probably never gonna surpass Facebook in monthly users, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a big tech company.

  7. I think this is a good idea. It’s not logical to have account names count towards the character limit, because then it’s harder to @ people in posts. Also, over the years I did use Twitter, I always ended up going JUST a few characters over, which was extremely annoying. Hopefully, these changes will help. These changes are convenient, but I don’t really know if it will help Twitter compete with other social media sites. It seems like it would benefit people already using it, rather than draw more people to the site.

  8. I think this is the right move for Twitter. I don’t think they should count usernames, images, etc. as part of the 140 character limit. I think the 140 characters should limit just the main content itself. I have had to use a service to post longer tweets before which is quite inconvenient.

  9. I do agree that only actual content should be included in Twitter’s 140 character limit. However, how long should a tweet realistically be to have the same type of impact as a shorter message? Will tweets just end up turning into rants? I’m interested to see how things will develop.

  10. As someone who uses Twitter a lot, I have been waiting for this change. The days of putting out one-liner status updates is kind of gone. Twitter may be slowing down in terms of growth but it still has a extremely large amount of users. As someone who follows a lot of esports/Twitch.tv personalities and does some streaming himself, the ability to not be limited by this is a plus. It could still maybe go up a bit in my opinion but others are correct as well. I don’t want to eventually see like 2 paragraph tweets of useless stuff spamming my twitter feed. I think it could use some balancing.

  11. I have been very comfortable with the 140 character limit because I think it is very challenging and exciting. Using the proper hashtags and other features can make these 40 words speaks more than millions. But now that Twitter relaxes this limit, I am looking forward to it with some apprehensions because I am not sure the excitement will remain the same for users like me who started using Twitter and remained with them for so long largely because of this. Let’s hope not counting images, videos or usernames won’t make any significant difference.

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