This is not a political post. More like a pet peeve post. Twitter is apparently about to make a big change to the way they count characters in tweets. They’re going to stop counting the URL of a link or image that is included in a Tweet against the total number of characters. Thus allowing more words in tweets that link to blog posts, for example.
On the left side of this page, you can click the Twitter button to see exactly where it cuts off after the link and tag are added. You could fit this post title PLUS the subtitle in under the new rules.
The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.
I object. Not because counting the characters of the URL is super important to me, but because it’s just the first step in a way for them to add more characters overall. The 140 limit is endangered. This is a valve release but the pressure is still on.
I think it’s a terrible idea. Forcing brevity has created some extremely memorable commentary over the years, and longer tweets do not only threaten to become irritating or unusable on mobile devices, it blurs the line between the bon mot and the treatise, the tweet and the blog post.
There are, to put it mildly, people on Twitter who already have too many characters to work with. Do we want them to have even more?
Listen, it’s not the end of the world. But forcing people to fit their article headlines and the crazy things the voices tell them to say into 140 characters is the selling point of Twitter in my book. It’s already a slug fest most of the time. Don’t turn it into a slog as well.
Rant over. Please return to your regularly scheduled Trump bashing or Trump worshiping. Just make sure you tweet my post.