clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

It's 2016, so Twitter will make it easier to cram photos and links into tweets

The 140-character limit stays, though.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

The Twitter biggification is coming.

Jack Dorsey and company are going to make it easier for users to stick more stuff in their tweets.

Not by dropping the service's famous 140 character limit — an idea the company had previously floated — but by expanding it, in a way: Twitter won't count the characters used to insert photos, links or other media into tweets against the 140 character limit.

Bloomberg says the change "could happen in the next two weeks," citing a person who would know. I talked to one of those people, and they didn't argue with the report.

Now imagine I wrote some boilerplate text about Twitter needing to make changes to its product to make it easier to use, so that its growth rate will stop flagging. Good? Okay.

But the fact that this story is a story, in 2016, tells you how reluctant Twitter has been, over the course of many years and many executives, to make even slight changes to its product.

There's absolutely no reason for the company to keep the 140-character limit anymore — it's an artifact of Twitter's birth as an SMS service, in an era when smartphones were still rare. And even if Twitter does like the idea of the forced concision that the limit requires, it could have instituted this change a long time ago.

Now: Cue tweets from Twitter users who think the change will hurt the platform.

This article originally appeared on