After months of speculation, it appears as if Twitter is finally doing away with it’s most frustrating, limiting character-count rules. Twitter announced today that pictures, GIFS, videos and other media will no longer count towards the 140 character-limit. Furthermore, usernames will also no longer count towards the character-limit, so characters won’t be sacrificed just to reply or mention someone. Also, users can now retweet their own tweets for extra coverage. However, links will still count towards the character limit.
As we’ve discussed before, Twitter’s rules on character-limit are a remnant of their old SMS format, when text messages could only hold a limited number of characters. But with their new app-based interface, the idea that you had to blow 25 character just to post one picture seemed dated at best. Now Twitter users have the capability to create and share content and copy without the worry of not meeting Twitter’s archaic standards. Perhaps this will also help Twitter catch up to Instagram and Snapchat in "original sharing".
For marketers, this is also a huge breakthrough. Marketers can now share content, create witty copy, and even target specific users without the burden of meeting Twitter’s old standards. But with the 140-character count still in place, it can still keep marketers from being too wordy in their posts. While this change may not be the step that pushes Twitter past mediocrity, it may at least get them on the right track.