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Twitter’s character limit will count words and words only starting next week (Update: now live!)

As expected, Twitter's new character limit now only counts words!

Published onSeptember 19, 2016

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Update (9/19): It's official! Twitter has just announced that the new character limit change is rolling out now:
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Say more about what's happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 19, 2016


Original post (9/13): Back in May, Twitter made a major announcement that outlined several changes coming to its 140-character limit policy in the future: among others, media attachments would no longer count as characters, giving you more room for words. Now according to The Verge, Twitter will implement this change starting September 19th.

Despite Twitter’s brief identity crisis earlier this year, the company has largely remained true to its identity and philosophy: the 140-character limit. The CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey has emphasized the importance of creativity and brevity several times, and although users are finding creative ways to express themselves beyond 140 characters, the limit actually works quite well. I mean, it’s simply iconic at this point.

Well, Twitter is bringing some new changes next week, according to two sources familiar with the company’s business. Don’t hold your breath because the 140-character limit is here to stay. What will change, however, is what counts towards the limit and what does not.

Don’t hold your breath because the 140-character limit is here to stay. What will change, however, is what counts towards the limit and what does not.

Media attachments such as GIFs, videos, polls, and images will no longer be considered words, which means you have more room for actual words. Not only that, when replying to a Tweet, “@names” will no longer count towards the character count. The full list of changes that were said to be coming includes:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
  • Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.
Twitter adds a “quality filter” and new notification controls

Are you happy about Twitter’s decision? Let us know by leaving a comment below!