Twitter’s 140-Character Update: What You Need to Know

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  • September 20, 2016

Twitter’s update to its 140-character limit on tweets has finally been rolled out.

As of yesterday, Twitter changed the rules for which parts of a tweet consume some of the allowed total. Now, replying to a person using the @ symbol; media attachments (such as photos, GIFs, videos, and polls); and quoted tweets will no longer take up any part of the 140-character limit. 

This change will undoubtedly lead to more verbose Twitter conversations and a big increase in the amount of attached media seen in tweets – both of which are great for us as social media marketers as they’ll lead to even better engagement on the platform.

Announcing the news in a tweet (how else?), Twitter also posted a rather in-depth diagram on their dev blog outlining how tweets will be structured going forward:


Here are just a few of the obvious benefits:

1. Easier Conversations

With @names no longer being counted as part of the 140-character limit, multiple person conversations will be a lot easier and more straightforward. We’ll all be able to converse with several people at once without having to (literally) mind our words.

2. More Media

Visuals have long been a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd on Twitter and until now it’s been difficult to compose an effective tweet AND add a media attachment. Even something as simple as a branded “thank you” image for each customer interaction would go a long way.

3. Retweet and Quote Yourself More

Ever feel like a tweet didn’t get the reaction or as much attention as you think it deserved? Now you’ll be able to retweet and quote yourself, without using up any of your valuable character limit, to provide a new perspective on an old tweet or re-emphasise a point you’ve made previously.

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