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Twitter's Revamped Character Limit Is Finally Here

Sep 19, 2016

Finally, 140 means 140, not 140 minus pictures.

On Monday, Twitter rolled out substantial changes to how its character limit works.

These changes, first announced in May, are aimed at giving users more space to fit their thoughts into 140 characters, the limit for each tweet. Attachments like GIFs, pictures and polls will no longer count towards the restriction, nor will videos and quoted tweets.

Each of these items used to take up 23 characters in any given tweet. That's about 16% of each tweet — precious space on a platform whose brevity has inspired users to get creative with symbols, and has come to be one of its defining features.

Twitter users have found their way around the cap, be it creating long "tweetstorms" by replying to their own tweets or simply uploading their whole message as a screenshot.

Originally implemented back when texting was still a major way of using Twitter, the character limit is unlikely to go, as CEO Jack Dorsey indicated in January.

The cap on direct messages was removed last year, allowing users to send messages up to 10,000 characters in private between themselves.

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