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Changes to posting on network

Twitter to remove photos from tweet limit

TwitterTwitter users are divided over the company’s decision to exclude images and links from the 140-character limit on tweets.

Images account for 23 characters and the opportunity to write longer tweets has been welcomed by social media editors.

However, BBC money writer Paul Lewis was among those dismayed by the change. “Blow for the art of subbing and succinctness,” he tweeted.

An announcement from Twitter confirming the change is expected in the next two weeks, according to US sources.

It is the latest in a number of changes by the company as it tries to revive its growth plans. Since February tweets are no longer listed in chronological order. The company removed the 140-character limit in direct messages last year.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey is keen to allow users to post longer messages, instead of relying on screenshots of long articles. In January the company said it would consider raising the limit to as many as 10,000 characters. But this was seen as counter to Twitter’s appeal as a short messaging system.

Twitter’s 140-character limit was adopted as it fit within a mobile text message when the service launched in 2006, which pre-dated widespread use of smartphones.

Since then Twitter has been encouraging users to include more media in their tweets with features like support for videos, gifs, and polls. However, their priority is space to write longer messages.

Users have resorted to abbreviations and other devices to economise on text.

In a  bid to attract more brands, media companies, advertisers, and other users to the platform Twitter cards were introduced to give them the ability to insert more text, media, links, and other content into tweets.

Such innovations will help Twitter lure more people onto the site and regain ground on rival social networks such as Snapchat and WhatsApp.

Removing photos and videos from the character count may encourage users to add more media to their posts. Twitter has been pushing video in particular as it priorities live events and makes the shift to being classified as a news app. Earlier this year, it paid $10 million to the US National Football League for live streaming rights.


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