Belfast Telegraph

Twitter may introduce ways to enable users to send longer tweets

By Jack Hardy

Twitter is going to make it easier for users to send longer messages, according to reports.

The micro-blogging site is overhauling its 140-character tweet system by stopping images and links contributing towards the total limit.

Users could enjoy as many as 47 additional characters for their tweets following the change, with images currently taking up 24 characters, while links are often shortened to 23.

Sources told Bloomberg the new format could be introduced as early as two weeks' time, but Twitter has yet to comment on reports.

The website has reportedly been exploring ways to allow people to post longer messages while at the same time maintaining its commitment to bite-size output. Some users already circumvent the limit by tweeting photographs of larger tracts of text.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wrote in January: "We've spent a lot of time observing what people do on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

"Instead, what if that text...was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power."

But Mr Dorsey also added in an earlier interview in March that there were no plans to scrap the upper ceiling on the character count altogether.

Twitter introduced its character limit shortly after its launch in 2006 to complement SMS messages, which were formerly capped at 160 characters.

But the advent of smartphones has made the limit outdated for some users, though others maintain that they enjoy the brevity it affords them.

That brevity has also helped to set Twitter apart from other forms of social media, such as Facebook and Tumblr.

Mr Dorsey has been under pressure to restore growth to Twitter since he returned as chief executive in June last year.

The service has been losing ground to competitors including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, resulting in Mr Dorsey's return. He is also chief executive of mobile payments company Square.

Belfast Telegraph