Twitter to expand 140-character count in two weeks

Twitter character expansion

The Twitterati will soon be able to send longer tweets, as Twitter moves to change the way it counts characters in messages.

Links to photos and articles will no longer count towards the 140-character limit for updates, Bloomberg reported, quoting an anonymous source familiar with the matter. The move could take effect in the next two weeks, the report said.

Twitter currently automatically shortens links, but they can still take up to 23 characters.

Longer tweets

In January, Chief Executive and Co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted that the company was exploring increasing the limits on text from 140 characters to as many as 10,000, to allow users unrestricted creativity. In March, however, Dorsey told NBC that the 140-character limit was staying.

The limit for a tweet is actually 160 characters, but 20 characters were subtracted to make way for user names and allow the service to work on as many devices as possible. The limit was fixed in 2006, when a majority of users were posting updates via text message before smartphones became commonplace.

The marginally longer count may inspire users to share more multimedia files, generating greater traffic for the website, which has faced stagnant user growth in recent times. Shares have fallen more than 70 per cent over the past year, according to Reuters.