Twitter already dropped the service’s iconic 140 character limit for Direct Messages and is now looking for a way to give its users additional space in composing tweets as well. While the company is not ready to drop this restriction altogether, according to Bloomberg, it will soon stop counting links and media towards the limit.
Currently, a link takes up 23 characters, while a photo takes up 24 characters, leaving a user only 93 characters for text if both are added. Users typically find workarounds by using third party services that send tweets as images or break them down into multiple tweets, or they just do it manually. But all these hacks is exactly why Twitter is struggling to retain new users -- it just seems too complicated and impractical.
Twitter’s 140-character limit was initially a byproduct of its early days as an SMS service, but there’s no technical reason for it anymore. That said, a lot of people will argue that the service just wouldn’t be the same without this limitation, as it forces users to communicate their ideas in a more succinct way.
Earlier this year rumors emerged that the company was considering raising the character limit of tweets from 140 to 10,000. CEO Jack Dorsey even made a reference to these reports responding with a screenshot of text and suggesting the company was open to changes in character limits if it means more more utility and power to users.